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The Bequest of 

Colonel George Earl Church 




1828 and 1829. 

REV. R. WALSH, LL. D. M.R.I. A. 


&c. &c. &c. 




stationers' hall court. 




Purpose to visit the interior, 1. Weight of money for travelling 
expenses, 2. Patricio, Indian guide, 3. His extraordinary speed, 
4. Land crabs, 5. Iraja and English landlord, 6. Various kinds 
of inns, ibid. Appearance of the country, 7. Brazilian dinner, 8. 
Carapatoos, 9. Brazilian gentleman, 11. Miss our guide and 
lose our way, 12. Mandioca, 13. Beautiful Brazilian farm, 14. 
Venda at Jacotinga, 16. Negress at Venda Nova, 18. Fecundity 
of vegetation, 19. Ragged host at S. Pedro, 21. Luzia, Hottentot 
cook, from Mozambique, 22. Extraction of carapatoos, 24. Pic- 
turesque rancho, 25. Arrival of Patricio, 26. Ascend the moun- 
tain with muleteers, 27. Brazilian lady, 28. Ticu palm, 29. 

Brazilian forest, 30. Summit of the serra, 32. Marquez de S. Joao 
Marcos, rational title to nobility, 33. Injurious effects of confer- 
ring it, 35. Beautiful plain of Botaes, 36. Strange mode of 
Brazilian courtship, 37. Treatment of guard of honour, 39. Rude 
machinery of fazenda, 40. Populous mountain roads, 14. Sin- 
gular deception at the Parahiba, 42. Ave Maria beetle, 43. Rio 
Parahiba, 44. Vampire bats, 45. Monkeys and parrots, 47. 
Valenca Indian aldea, 48. Soap at estalagem, 49. Breakfast, 
50. Slave market, 51. Lady of Valenpa, 52. German doctor, 
53. Rats and bats at Rio Bonito, 55. Attack a cow, ibid. Mag- 
nificent bamboos, 56. Various kinds, 57. Crosses, 58. Vul- 
tures, 59. 


Rio Preto, why so called, GO. Registry, 6 1 . Bexigas, or small-pox, 
62. Papos or goitres, 63. Mode of making touchino at Funil, 64. 
Service of Sabbath in a wood, 65. Awful storm, 66. Lodgings at 
Rio do Peixe, 67. Preparations for going to bed, ibid. Sudden 
appearance of the campos, 68. Retrospect of mountains, 69. 
Indians, 70. Pernicious effects of plan for their conversion and 
civilization, 71. Ald&as or villages, 72. Singular beauty and 
solitude of campos, 74. Chilian pine, 75. Deceptive appearance 
of wild oats, 76. Copim or ant-hills, 77. Migration of ants, 78. 
Singular superstition, ibid. Armadillo taken after a chase, 79. 
Venda of Jose Goncalvez, 80. Village of Bertioga, 81. Immense 
coira or hide, 82. Superiority of Brazilian puncho to European 
cloaks, 83. School at Ilheo, ibid. The unusual luxury of table- 
knives, 85. Punch bath, 86. Chuva fria or cold rain, 87. Phy- 
sical powers of negroes, 88. Appearance of serra and town of 
S. Jose\ 89. 

Mining Association, 90. Establishment at S. Jose, 91. Prejudice 
of natives, 92. Burial of a miner, 94. Mulatto priest, 96. No- 
tions of chronology and geography, 97. Singular music in 
Church, 99. Brazilian concert, 100. Notions of an evening 
party, 101. First discovery of gold in the Minas Geraes, 102. 
Paulistas, 103. River of Deaths, 104. Lavras or gold washings, 
105. Pernicious effects, 106. Metalliferous serras, 107. Serra 
of S. Jos6, 108. Solitude and banditti, 109. Qualities indicating 
gold, 110. Prophecy, 111. Modes of mining by Brazilians, 112. 
Advantages of encouraging foreign companies, 114. Sesmarias, or 
grants by government, 115. First company established, 118. 
Terms of agreement, ibid. Quality of gold found at S. Jos6, 

Invited to harvest-home of gold, 121. Process of collecting it, 122. 
Impregnated sods, 124. Ouro Preto, or black gold, 125. Quan- 
tity collected, 126. Destruction of vegetable soil, 127. Visit to 
S. Joao d'el Rey, 128. Gold -finding interwoven with all the 
habits of the people, ibid. Remains of ancient workings, 129. 


Extravagant notions of English skill, 130. Matozinhos, 132. 
Description of S. Joao d'el Rey, 133. Fondness of cattle for salt, 
134. Extraordinary accounts of the riches of a pit, 135. Visit 
the Ouvidor of the Comarca, 137. Caza de Fundacao, or smelting 
house, 138. Quantity of gold passed through in 1828, 141. 
Public Library, 142. Polytechnic society, 143. Dine with the 
Ouvidor, 144. Manners and character, 145. Gross outrage on 
the young men of S. Jose, 146. Entertainment and prejudice 
against mutton, 150. Anecdotes of the Company, 151. Fecun 
dity of the females, 153. Extraordinary birth, 154. 

Set out for Villa Rica, 155. Prodigal waste of wood, 156. Awful 
thunder storm, 158. Herds of black cattle, 159. Singular ap- 
pearance of chasms crossing the road, 161. Arrived at Lagoa 
Dourado, 162. Attacked with spasms, and from what cause, 163. 
Rich lavras, 164. Cause of assassination, ibid. Cross indicating 
the effects of lightning, 165. Olho d'Agoa, 166. Beautiful fa- 
zenda of Medonza, 167. Various reasons for erecting crosses, 
168. Origin of the name of Sua Suci, 169. Papos of our hostess, 
and cause assigned for it, 170. Negress attendant, 171. Patri- 
archal host, ibid. Redondo, 172. Congonhas or Paraguay tea, 
173. Dangerous pass, 174. Landlady at Chepado do Mato, 
175. Negro minstrel, 176. Wild serra of Ouro Branco, 177. 
Masses of iron, ibid. Beautiful serpent, 178. Suspicious rancho 
at Rodeo, 179. Cross the serra at sunset, 180. Arrive after 
dark at Capao da Lana, 181. 

Singular diversity of frogs, 182. Topaz mine, 183. mode of work- 
ing, 184. Mine of Boa Vista, 185. Topaz market, 186. Sup- 
posed abundance in this district, 187. Passed for diamonds, 188. 
Picturesque hills of Boa Vista, 189. Dilapidated approach to 
Villa Rica, 190. Inn in ruins, 191. Site of the town, 192. Lake 
and crater of a volcano, 193. Ita Columi, or child of stone, a sin- 
gular mountain, ibid. English manufactures, 195. Population, 
VOL. ii. b 


196. Former opulence, 197. Demoralization and decay, 198. 
Present employment of the people, 200. Braziers and smiths, 201. 
First iron found, and its manufacture discouraged, 202. Anec- 
dote, ibid. Encouraged by Dom John, 203. Joy at the first 
melting in a foundry, 204. Statue to commemorate it, ibid. 
Superior quality, 205. 

Mines of Gongo Soco, 206. Former working, 207. Purchased by 
the Imperial Brazilian Mining Company, 209. Melancholy fate 
of the miners of Antonio Pereira, 210. Richness of Gongo Soco, 
212. English colony, ibid. Benefits to Brazilians, 213. Visit 
the deputy Vasconcellos, 214. His prejudices against the English, 
216. Urbanity and good nature, 217. Enemy to the abolition of 
the slave trade, 219. Money circulation in the Minas Geraes, 220. 
Untiring activity of Patricio, 221. Rare and singular fruit found 
in the woods, 222. Caverns near S. Jose, 223. Scarcity and value 
of lime-stone, 224. 

Set out for Rio by Estrada d'Estrella, 225. My companion, ibid. 
Feel very desolate, 226. Corpulent hostess at Barroza, 227. Pigs, 
228. Breakfast at Cangayera, 229. Teams passing the river, 230. 
Splendid view on campos, 231. Barbacena, 232. First English- 
man who visited it, 233. Registo, 234. Host and hostess, 235. 
Horse lamed, and cannot proceed, 236. Dismal and comfortless 
state alone, 237. Visit the vigario, 238. Mode of living, 239. 
Antique procession, 240. Again proceed, 242. Rancho of Con- 
fisco, ibid. Family dances, 244. Nocturnal visitation, 245. Fern 
and blackberries, 246. Mantiquiera, 247. Brazilian mode of 
making roads, 248. Beautiful town of Pedro Alves, 249. Night- 
blowing cactus, 250. Monkey and castor-oil seeds, 251. 

Lose our way in a wood, 252. Interminable appearance of forest, 
253. Cataract of Caxoeira, 254. Fazenda of Joaquim Vidal, 255. 
Gigantic mulatto, ibid. Singularly beautiful field of milho. 256. 


Difficulty of shoeing horses, 257. Mode of procuring shoes — 
obligation to my new friend, the mulatto — and his reward, ibid. 
Brazilians suppose me carrying a box of gold, 258. Opinions on 
it, ibid. Arrive at the river Parahibuna, 259. Wild village of 
Marmelo, in the serra, 260. Dismal appearance of Madeiras, 261. 
Hospitality of the Dona Theresa, 262. Brazilian widow, 263. 
Inscription on a jug, 264. Threshing milho, 265. Dream of 
romance destroyed, 266. Beautiful fazenda of Idhea, 267. Re- 
gistry of Mathias Barbosa, 268. Passage of the Parahibuna, 269. 
Hospitable host at Ignacio, 271. Pass the registry and river of 
Parahiba, 273. 

Painful night at Governo, 274. German host at La Cruz, 276. In- 
telligent hostler at the Segretaria, 277. Beauty of the river Pia- 
bunda, 278. Strange want of accommodation at Semidouro, 279. 
Hospitality of a Brazilian gentleman at Salta, 281. Emperor's 
family at Padre Correa, 282. Magnificent appearance of the 
American aloe, 283. Smiths mistaken for frogs at Samambaya, 

284. Estrada d'Estrella, ibid. Splendid view from the summit, 

285. Mandioca, 286. Porto d'Estrella — bustle and activity of 
business, 288. Embark, and arrive at Rio, 289. 

Retrospect of journey, 290. Reported, and real character of the 
Brazilians, 291. Rudeness, ibid. Indolence, ibid. Ignorance, 292. 
Irritability, 293. Inhospitality, ibid. Licentiousness, 294. Dis- 
honesty, 295. Climate 297. Varied face of nature under six 
different aspects, 299. Beira-mar — balsam, ibid. Spiders, 300. 
Spider silk, 301. Serra acima, clay mountains, 302. Remarkable 
trees, 303. Assai, or cabbage palm, 304. Air-plants and barren 
pines, 306. Arapongo, solitary bird, 309. Campos — Fruta do 
Lobo, ibid. John of the Clay, 310. Ben te vi, 311. Metallife- 
rous serras, ibid. Mato, 312. Granite pikes, ibid. 

State of slavery — capture of the first negro slave, 313. First sent to 
America, 314. Portuguese writer against the slave trade, 315. 


Proposed seventy years ago to make it piracy, 318. Brazilian 
Bishop defends it, 319. Treaty with Portugal for its abolition, 
320. Recognized in Brazil, 321. When to be entirely abolished, 
ibid. Melancholy effects in increasing the traffic, 322. Ciganos, 
or gipsy slave merchants, 323. Slave market at Vallongo, 324. 
Painful spectacle of a young female, 325. Fierce desperation in 
the countenance of males, 326. Interesting group of boys, 327. 
amiable dispositions, 328. Pecuniary sacrifice of the Brazilian 
government in the abolition, 329. Fearful superiority of blacks 
in number, 330. Cause of security of the whites, ibid. Physical 
strength of the negroes, 331. Deteriorated, and why, 332. Pre- 
sent importations resemble Hottentots, 333. Malungoes, 334. 

Mysterious song, 335. Musical instruments, 336. Excitement of drum, 
337. National dances, 338. African prince, 339. Eager for baptism, 
and why, 340. Mode of salutation, 341. Negro industry, 342. Fugi- 
tives, 343. Neck irons, 344. Determined suicides, affecting instance, 
345. Horror at the state of slavery, 349. Effects of disappointing 
their hopes of liberty, 350. Mulatto slave murders his father, 351. 
Interminable period of slavery, 352. Precaution of ecclesiastics to 
prevent slave progeny from becoming white, 353. European 
fathers sell their own white children, ibid. Slavery deteriorates our 
best feelings, 355. Instances among the Brazilians, 356. Victims 
of private revenge, 357. At the calabouco, 358. In private houses, 
359. Negro mode of self-destruction, ibid. Law neither protects 
nor restrains a slave, 360. Murder committed by slaves at Bota 
Fogo with impunity, 361. Slavery prevents the improvement of 
the country, 362. Slaves taught to buy and sell one another, ibid. 
People generally convinced of the evils of it, 364. Strange rumour 
of Mr. Wilberforce, 365. Free blacks and mulattos, ibid. Euro- 
pean colonies — German, 366. Swiss, 367. Irish, 368. Portu- 
guese constitutionalists, ibid. Visit to the Organ mountains, 369. 
Limestone discovered by a German miner, who would not com- 
municate his secret, 370. Mage and Freixal, 371. Sudden 
transition from heat to cold, 372. Extent and quality of a moun- 


tain farm in Brazil, 373. Tiger hunter, ibid. Senzalla like 
Hottentot kraal, 374. Burning woods and explosions of tacwara, 
375. Game procured by negroes, 376. Dissection of Jacaraca 
Viper, 377. Boa constrictor, 378. 

Natural and artificial indications of the approach of Lent, 379. 
Pelting eggs of wax, 380. Amusements of the intruso, 381. Ex- 
tensive system of inundation, 382. Processions of Ash Wed- 
nesday, 383. Have lost all their effect upon the people, 384. 
Emperor bearing the cross, 385. Levity of the spectators, 386. 
Sermon addressed to the image of St. Joseph, 387. Washing the 
feet of the poor on Holy Thursday, 388. Sound of bells pro- 
hibited, and extraordinary reason why, 390. Probable origin of 
Maundy Thursday, ibid. Interesting spectacle of negro girls, 391. 
Good Friday — Splendid display and theatric effect, 393. Cock 
that crew to warn Peter, 394. Hallelujah Saturday, 395. Exhi- 
bition and punishment of Judas, 396. Figures, devices, and 
Poetical labels, 397. Description of the Rua Direita, 399. 
Judas seized by Satan, 400. Contents of broken vases, 401. 
Amusing and expensive exhibition, 402. Easter Sunday marked 
by the device of a dove, 403. Emperor of the Holy Spirit elected, 

Insurrection at Pernambuco, 405. Progress and suppression, 406. 
Other causes of alarm at Maranhao, 407. Effects on the currency, 
408. Erection of a gallows, 409. English squadron proceed to 
blockade the port of Rio, 410. Excitement among the Brazilians, 
and impression on the Bishop, 411. Curious reason assigned 
for the measure, ibid. French aid the English squadron, and why, 
412. Burning bank-notes, 413. Expected arrival of the Portu- 
guese constitutionalists, 414. Embarrassment of the government, 
and anger of the people at the conduct of England, 415. Legis- 
lative body convoked a month before the usual time, 416. Cards 
of invitation to foreign ministers and their suites, for the opening 


of the session, 417. Senate-house, by whom built, 418. Descrip- 
tion of it, 419. Arrival of the Emperor, 421. Dress and conduct, 
422. Effects of his speech, 423. Indifference of the few spec- 
tators abroad, 424. 

Visit to Vasconcellos at Rio, menage and accommodation of Bra- 
zilian deputies, 425. Proceed with them to the chamber, 426. 
Intense interest excited among the people, ibid. Description of 
chamber, 427. Effects of an observation on the Emperor's throne, 
428. Facility and fluency of the deputies, 429. Vasconcellos, 430. 
Custodio Dias, 431. Augusto May, 432. Cunha Matos, ibid. 
Gonsalves Ledo, 433. Clemente Pereira, 434. Subject of the 
debate, 435. Sketch of the speeches, 436. Strong prejudices 
expressed against the admission of the Portuguese, 438. Illness of 
Vasconcellos, 445. Arrival of some Portuguese emigrants in 
Brazil, and their final reception, 446. 

Attend a levee for the last time, 447. Emperor surrounded by his 
young family, ibid. Former oppression and tyrannical conduct 
of the royal family when they went abroad, 448. Now altered, 
and why, 449. No trace of it visible in the Emperor or his atten- 
dants, ibid. Pays a visit every Saturday to the church of N. S. da 
Gloria, 450. His behaviour there, and his familiarity with all 
classes, 451. Present him with some books, and am invited to 
pay him my personal respects at Christovao, 452. Royal residence 
formerly a merchant's house, presented to Dom John, 453. Or- 
namented by a screen colonnade, made in England, and sent out by 
the Duke of Northumberland, 455. Introduction and conversa- 
tion with the Emperor, 457. Great mechanic, like his namesake 
of Russia, 458. Singular device in his chamber, 459. Domestic 
habits, 460. Learning English, and how instructed by his Eng- 
lish groom, ibid. Exceeding frugality, 461. Modes of making 
money, 462. Natural talents and able manner in which he has 
exerted them, 463. Connexion with secret societies, 464. Laconic 


address from his brother masons, 465. Now a supposed enemy 
even to literary institutions, 466. One great cause of his loss 
of popularity, 467. Likely now to regain his moral influence, 

North Star appointed to take us home, and we embarked on the 4th 
of May, ibid. Ship swarms with African insects, 469. Extraordi- 
nary use of spiders, 470. Living state of the biscuit, 471. Very 
healthy state of a crew from a pestiferous coast, ibid. Pirates and 
slaves from the Havannah, 472. Cuba as bad as Algiers ; the 
opprobrium of the civilized word, 473. Desperate pirate and 
slaver from thence met by Capt. Arabin on the coast of Africa, 474. 
expect to fall in with her, and determined to capture her, 475. Sup- 
posed to be in sight, 476. Immediately give chase, all day, 477. 
Disappears after dark, but glimpses of her occasionally caught with 
night glasses, 478. Come up with her next day, after a chase of 
three hundred miles, 479. Turns out to be a slaver and pirate, but 
not the expected Spaniard, ibid. Equipment of ship and stowage 
of slaves, 480. Their delight when they saw us on board, 481. 
Horrible state in which they were confined, 482. Turned up on 
deck, ibid. Fearful excitement when they saw fresh water, 483. 
Dreadful sufferings from an act of neglect, 484. Mortality among 
slaves visited on the crew, ibid. Appalling account of slave ships 
on the coast, 485. Impression of English made on slaves by the 
slave dealers, 486. Rigid examination of captain's papers, 487. 
Not sufficient evidence to capture him, as he was a Brazilian, 
trading to south of the Line, 488. Good effected by the abolition 
bears but a small proportion to the evil still existing, 491. Two 
circumstances wanting to make the abolition effectual, 492. 

Consequence of immersion in cold water after violent exercise, 494. 
Extraordinary strength of a shark, 495. Intrepid humanity of a 
sailor named Burke, 496. Mar do sargaco, or weedy sea, 498. 
Description of fucas natans, 499. Conjectures as to its origin 
probably not correct, 500. Never fixed, but vegetates on the 


surface, like some confervas, 501. Columbus's crab, 502. Young 
turtle, ibid. Molluscse in vast abundance, 504. Uses of then- 
creation indicated, 505. Make St. Michael's, 506. Excite- 
ment of the people; from what cause, 507. Absurd rumours 
eagerly believed, 508. Sagacity of St. Michael asses, 510. Islands 
first discovered by Flemings, 511. Population and produce, 512. 
Late profitable speculation in oranges, 513. Annual emigration 
of peasantry to Brazil, 515. Singular cap and its uses, 516. In- 
telligent Constitutionalist gentleman, 517. 

Different origin of the Atlantic and Pacific Islands, 518. All the 
latter volcanic, 519. Structure and soil of St. Michael's, 520. 
Isle of Ilheo a submarine volcano, ibid. Destruction of Villa 
Franca, 521. Other mutations from volcanic causes, 522. Effects 
in 1810; wonderful expulsion of an island by a volcano from the 
bottom of the sea, 524. Gradual progress and ascent, 525. Vi- 
sited by several people, 526. Materials of which it was composed, 
527. Taken possession of by the English, ibid. Again descends 
into the deep with the Union flag flying on the summit, 528. 
Porto Ilheo still existing to shew what the other had been, ibid. 
From analogy the Atalantis might have had once an existence, and 
even St. Brandon's Isle, 529. Our aproach to England indicated by 
dingy clouds and Channel gull, 530. Land at Portsmouth, ibid. 


No. I. — Carta Regia for Opening the Ports of Brazil 531 

II. — Decree for Elevating Brazil into a Kingdom 532 

III. — Hymno, Imperial, e Constitucional. Composto por 

S. M. I. o Senhor Dom Pedro 1°. . . 533 

IV. — Exports from Rio Janeiro, &c 535 

V.— Names of the Streets, &c. and Number of Houses, in 

the City of Rio de Janeiro, in the year 1829 537 

VI. — Civil List 541 


In 1828 and 1829. 

Having seen every thing that Rio presented 
worth noticing, I availed myself of an oppor- 
tunity of visiting the interior of the country. 
Mr. Milward, the superintendent of the mines 
of S. Jose, was in Rio, and about to return ; 
and having been apprised by Colonel Cunning- 
ham of my wish to make a tour of the Minas 
Geraes, he was so good as to propose to me 
to accompany him. Just before our departure 
I met, at Rio, Mr. Holman, the traveller, who, 
though labouring under a total privation of sight, 
has visited and described so many countries: he 
had just returned from the district I proposed 
to explore, and gave me some useful information 
as to the mode of travelling. He was suffering 



under a severe inflammation in his foot, from 
the bite of an insect, and I learned to profit by 
his experience. 

Our first care was to provide passports, and 
his Excellency Lord Strangford was so good 
as to procure me, a particular letter from the 
Marquez D'Aracati, minister of foreign affairs, 
which I found afterwards exempted me from 
much annoyance. Our next care was to provide 
money, and this was no easy task. Rio notes 
circulated only in the province, and nothing 
but a metallic currency would pass beyond it. 
The gold and silver had all disappeared, and no 
money was to be had but copper. This coinage 
was in large pieces of eighty reis, and was full 
as inconvenient to carry, as the iron money of 
the Spartans ; even for this we were obliged to 
pay a discount of twelve or fifteen per cent. ; and 
when we had procured as much as was necessary 
for our expenses on the road, our purse weighed 
three arrobas, nearly 1 cwt., and was a load for 
a mule. I carried a portion of it for a short 
time in a bag fastened to my saddle, and the 
pressure soon raised a large tumour on the 
horse's shoulder. As the rainy season had just 
commenced, we provided ourselves with large 
cloaks, and prepared sheep-skins, with the wool 
on, to lay on our saddles, as a precaution 


against sciatica, and on the 8th of December, 
1828, we left Rio at nine in the morning. 

Our company consisted of two horsemen, and 
a mule containing our luggage, led by a pardo 
or mulatto. This was a very extraordinary per- 
son ; he was of a mixed race, one of his parents 
a negro, and the other a native Indian, and he 
partook of the qualities of both. His colour 
was very dark, with woolly hair, but his figure 
was tall, thin, and erect, and his countenance 
had a certain cast of thought that was evidently 
not African ; it was at the same time pensive 
and intelligent. His habits were irreclaimably 
erratic, and his whole enjoyment consisted in 
wandering, which, as he was a free man, he 
could indulge when he pleased. He was a 
native of S. Jose, and was always employed by 
Mr. Milward in bearing letters and messages 
to distant parts, which he did with incredible 
despatch. On one occasion which required 
speed, he was sent off with a letter to Villa Rica, 
by the sargente mor of the town, and was back 
with an answer before it was supposed possible 
he could have arrived at the place. He actually 
travelled on foot over mountains, through woods, 
and across rivers, a distance of 192 miles in 
36 hours, and returned without any appear- 
ance of fatigue; a speed and perseverance that 

b 2 


beat Captain Barclay or any English pedestrian 
all to nothing. He was, moreover, a person of 
the strictest integrity, with a certain tincture of 
romance and sensibility, that greatly interested 
me for this man of the woods, and by an odd 
coincidence he was baptized Patricio, after the 
patron saint of Ireland, by the vigario of S. Jose. 
Mr. Milward had brought him to Rio some time 
before, where the confinement of the city, and the 
dull habits of social life, had nearly proved fatal 
to him, and he got extremely ill. Doctors were 
consulted and medicines procured for him, but 
he obstinately refused all physic, except bananas 
and water, to which he judiciously confined 
himself, till he got clear of the contagious 
atmosphere of a town. When we first set out 
he was seized with a fit of trembling and debility 
that alarmed us, but the moment he began to 
breathe the air of the woods, and enjoy the free 
exercise of his limbs, he at once recovered his 
wonted strength and activity. 

Our way lay along the bay, through the village 
of S. Christovao ; we passed some muddy flats, 
left by receding waters, and I was surprised 
to see the whole surface moving with life to- 
wards us. On a nearer approach, I found they 
were crabs of different sizes, but all armed 
with enormous claws : when they moved, they 


brandished these long thick claws in the air, 
and really looked formidable assailants. They 
are constantly eaten by the people, though to 
me nothing could appear more revolting, than 
these hideous misshapen insects.* 

As we passed the houses on the road, we 
saw various groups of persons in their best 
clothes, and found it was a high holiday in 
Brazil, the feast of the Patrocinio de Nossa 
Senhora, and celebrated like an Irish patron. 
A number of them, with their families, were 
making merry and enjoying themselves in the 
best manner they could, as if not the best, at 
least the most agreeable way, of showing their 
devotion to their tutelary saint. The road was 
sandy, but wide and good, with clipped mi- 
mosas, forming dense hedges at each side, 
like those of hawthorn in England. At about 
eight miles from the town, we met with a 
mile-stone, having on it the number II., inti- 
mating that we were two leagues on our road. 
This is one of the few, or perhaps the only mile, 
or rather league-stone, in Brazil, and was set 
up by the emperor on this road, from S. 
Christovao, to his fazenda at Santa Cruz — but 
his example was followed no where else. 

* Cancer fasicularis, 


We now arrived at Pray a Pequena, where 
we met a troop of mules laden with coffee ; 
many of them stopped at Bemfica, or the good 
resting place ; a canal is cut from hence to the 
bay, by which the coffee was conveyed by water. 

Having next passed Venda Nova, we arrived 
about one at Iraja, and stopped at the house 
of Mr. Willis, an Englishman. On the roads 
of Brazil there are four kinds of resting places. 
A rancho, which literally means an assemblage 
or company of persons ; and hence it is applied 
to the place where they stop. It is nothing 
more than a large shed, supported on pillars, 
entirely open at the sides, and gives no kind 
of accommodation or refreshment, but the 
shelter of the roof to mules and mule drivers. 
The next is a venda, which literally means a 
shop, where refreshments are sold. Attached 
to this, there is frequently a quarto, or lodging- 
room ; and, on some occasions, a cama, or bed. 
The third is an estalagem, or inn, with the 
usual accommodations of such a place, but 
this is very rare indeed. The last is a fazenda, 
or farm-house. Frequently the fazendeiro, or 
farmer, is an inn-keeper, and in this way dis- 
poses of his produce, and entertains travellers 
at his own house ; but sometimes he does not 
sell his entertainment, but receives a stranger 


from motives of hospitality. This is not un- 
common in Brazil, as I can testify. 

We saw besides on the road, a continued 
succession of chacaras and quintas, different 
names for the country residences of Brazilian 
gentlemen. They generally stood in the middle 
of a demesne, which was well cultivated in 
the Brazilian mode of farming, and were ap- 
proached by large ornamental gates, which 
seemed carefully kept, and were generally fresh 
painted. Many of the mansions were built by mer- 
chants and retired shopkeepers from Rio ; who, 
having realized a property in the city, expended 
it in beautifying the country ; — a proof at once 
of the growing opulence of the place, and the 
good taste and feeling of the inhabitants. A 
great part of the improved land we had passed, 
was, in the memory of even young people, mato, 
or tangled thicket. 

Mr. Willis had married a Brazilian lady, very 
respectable and lady-like in her manners, and 
was himself a fazendeiro, who kept besides a 
large venda. His house was a long edifice, 
with a stable at one end, and a shop at the 
other; and in front, a shed or portico sup- 
ported on pillars. Before the door was a 
number of Englishmen, connected with mer- 
cantile houses in Rio, who had come to the 


country to keep Sunday, and this day, which 
was also a holiday. They were playing at 
quoits, and other games of violent exercise, 
under a burning vertical sun, and drinking 
strong bottled porter to cool themselves. It 
was rather a curious sight to observe, with 
what pertinacity our countrymen adhere to 
their old habits, in the most incongruous places. 
We all dined together, in a large room, at 
three o'clock ; and here, for the first time, I saw 
a genuine Brazilian dinner. It consisted of salt 
fish, with onions, at one end ; at the other, salt 
fish, hashed with vegetables, and in the middle a 
large tureen of feijao preto, black beans, stewed 
in toucinho or hog's lard, and beside it a broad 
platter of farinha, or the meal of mandioca; 
this, in look, was like coarse lime, and in con- 
sistence like hard sawdust ; and when the black 
beans were mixed in, it really had a very odd 
appearance, and reminded me of the Irishman's 
simile of " clocks crawling in lime ;" its taste was 
hard, coarse, and raw. For drink we had 
abundance of bottled porter and port wine, 
with native caxas, fine and transparent like 
water, and in taste resembling Scotch whisky. 
Our host informed me it was a wholesome and 
excellent cordial when taken raw, but he warned 
me against mixing it with water. 


Opposite the venda was an open copse, 
covered with brushwood. Here I entered to 
collect insects, which abounded in it ; but I was 
called back, and warned of danger. I thought 
of serpents, and made a precipitate retreat, but 
I found the danger was from a smaller, but 
nearly as serious a cause, Among the insects 
of the country is a kind of tick, called cara- 
patoo. This is exceedingly venomous ; it has 
six hooked and sharp claws, with which it 
readily clings to any passing object, and it is 
furnished with a proboscis of a singular struc- 
ture. It consists of a pencil of bristles, ser- 
rated inwards, forming a terebro or piercer, 
with which it instantly penetrates the flesh 
of any animal, to which it has adhered by its 
claws, and burrows its head in the wound. 
When entering, the bristles expand, forming 
a triangle, of which the base is inside, so that 
it opposes a resistance to extraction, which it 
is sometimes quite impossible to overcome. If 
it is suffered to remain, it gorges itself with 
blood, till it becomes bloated to an enormous 
size ; if it be extracted forcibly, so as to sepa- 
rate the head, it remains festering in the wound, 
and as it is exceedingly irritating and acrid in 
its quality, it causes a violent inflammation, 
which degenerates into a foul and dangerous 


ulcer : frequently the mere puncture produces 
an inflammation, by which the glands of the 
limbs absorbing the poison, become swelled 
and very painful. The late king suffered severely 
from a carapatoo. 

These horrid insects, which are the plague of 
the country, as bad as any of those of Egypt, 
are sometimes so abundant, that herds of cattle 
perish by their attacks. They are so tough 
that they cannot be bruised, so vivacious that 
they cannot be drowned, and so adhesive that 
they cannot be separated ; so that it was in 
vain to place the cattle in water, or use any 
other expedient. When I came out, one was 
found on my neck, in the act of perforating 
the flesh with its proboscis, but it had not 
time, so it was easily extracted. It was about 
the size of a large bug, with a grey mottled 
skin, which was so coriaceous and leathery, 
that no bruising would kill it, and it escaped. 
Some others were caught in the evening, and 
they were all destroyed by the only method 
effectually practised — holding them on the 
point of a pin in the flame of a candle.* 

* The castor-oil tree is called in this country Carapatoo, from 
the resemblance the seed bears to this tick. It is remarkable that it 
was called by the ancients Ricinus, and uporov, for the same 


In the evening, a Brazilian gentleman rode 
up to the door. He was a dark comely man, 
with a large straw hat, tied round with a broad 
many-coloured ribbon. He wore a jacket of 
rich flowered cotton, white pantaloons, and fawn- 
coloured boots, with large silver spurs. He was 
a country squire of the neighbourhood, and his 
mode of living afforded a good picture of the 
Brazilians of his class, in the vicinity of the city. 
He owned a large tract of land, and among 
others, the unreclaimed thicket, of which the 
carapatoos had taken undisturbed and undivided 
possession. The rest of his land was equally in 
a state of nature, and lay useless, except that 
it supported a few cows, from which, and a few 
negroes, he derived his whole subsistence. The 
cows' milk was sent every morning to Rio, a 
distance of fifteen miles, on the heads of his 
negroes, who returned in the evening with the 
produce, and brought him back each three or 
four patacs. The labour of these journeys was 
so great, that the blacks frequently sunk under 
it, and died on the road ; and their master was 
content to live on the produce of his cows, 
thus disposed of, when he possessed the means 
of raising a large fortune. 

We left Iraja the next morning at five, and 
had not proceeded more than a few miles, when 


our tall, pensive mulatto disappeared, with our 
mule and baggage, at the turn of a road. It 
was some time before we missed him ; and as 
he was to be our guide through the country, 
we could not proceed without him, so we turned 
back to search. We soon lost our way, and 
came in front of a large conical hill, which it 
was evident we could not pass over. When 
arrived at its base, we found ourselves in the 
midst of a very extensive fazenda. It consisted 
of a large and respectable mansion-house, in a 
well-cleared demesne of several hundred acres, 
all under cultivation, and containing within itself 
all the produce of Brazilian husbandry. First, 
meadows of capim, or Guinea grass. This 
very productive vegetable was introduced, with 
slaves, from Angola, on the coast of Africa, and 
is a real benefit to the country. It has a leaf 
two inches broad and a foot long, and the culm 
rises, like cane, to the height of ten or twelve 
feet, if standing upright. It is planted by cuttings 
from the joint, and is exceedingly vivacious and 
prolific, yielding large and successive crops of 
sweet and succulent fodder, and so rich and 
enduring, that it gives the country an aspect 
of perennial verdure in the most arid seasons. 

Beside this meadow of capim, were large plan- 
tations of mandioca, which resembled a grove 


of castor-oil trees, having large digitate foliage 
on branching stems, rising to the height of four 
or five feet. I had come to Brazil with my 
mind impressed with strong apprehensions of 
this dangerous vegetable, from the accounts of 
Father Labat and others in the West Indies. 
They say the raw root is so deleterious, that it 
brings on immediately a fatal torpidity, of which 
the patient dies, unless kept moving or dancing, 
and so the plant is a vegetable tarantula. 
There is no trace of this in Brazil, and it is 
either one of the speciosa miracula of the good 
fathers, or soil and climate have so altered the 
nature of the plant, as to deprive it of qualities 
dangerous elsewhere. The poison, they say, 
resides in a volatile substance, which is exhaled 
by heat, in the process of preparation ; but the 
same may be said of a potato, which no one 
thinks of eating raw, and I was informed that 
pigs feed with as much impunity on one as the 
other. Mandioca meal is the great farinaceous 
food used in all parts of Brazil, and for that 
reason called kclt e%oxnv, farinha. The root 
from which it is prepared, resembles a large 
irregular parsnip. 

On the side of the hill, was a very extensive 
plantation of cana, or sugar cane. When 
mountain ground is reclaimed by burning the 


woods, the first crop is usually sugar cane ; 
which is seen shooting up every where, with its 
green stems among the dark ashes, and black 
trunks and branches of half-burnt trees. The first 
appearance of the plant resembles tufts of aloes, 
from which the culm, or cane, shoots out to the 
height of eight or nine feet. In this state the 
plantations are very beautiful ; and gave to the 
sloping face of the hill before us, the aspect of 
a grove of the richest verdure, laid down in 
ornamental lands. 

Near this, on the same declivity, was a coffee 
plantation, the dark shining foliage of which was 
strongly contrasted with the vivid transparent 
green of the cana. The bushes rose to the 
height of nine or ten feet, from another grove of 
ornamental ground, but of an aspect and cha- 
racter very different from the former. It had 
a sombre and solitary cast. The steins were 
covered with dark green berries, which become 
red, and are gathered in February — a second 
crop follows in August. When pulled, they 
abound with a whitish, milky looking pulp, 
between the cuticle and the seed ; they are 
spread out to dry on mats till the pulp hardens ; 
they are then thrown into a mill, where the 
whole husk is separated, and the clean seeds 
packed in long baskets, each containing five 


arrobas, or one hundred and sixty pounds ; and 
in this state sent by droves of mules to Rio, for 
consumption or exportation. 

Besides these, there were large fields of 
milho, or Indian corn, bordered with broad 
beds of feijao preto ; and, occasionally, long 
rows of bananas, with their enormous and sin- 
gular foliage. In a large fallow, in the midst 
of this green amphitheatre, were from eighty 
to one hundred negroes of both sexes ; some 
with infants strapped on their backs, in a rank, 
breaking up the ground for fresh crops with 
hoes. This implement was a broad pointed 
blade of iron, stuck at the end of a pole like 
a flat shovel, set at right angles with the 
handle. With this, they all struck with the 
regularity of soldiers drilling for the manual 
exercise, and cut the ground into square blocks, 
about twice the size of bricks. Over them pre- 
sided a tawny-coloured driver, in a cotton jacket 
and large straw hat, with a long rod in his hand, 
by which he directed their industry, and punished 
the idle. The whole scene before me presented 
such a complete picture of a tropical farm, where 
both the face of nature and the produce and 
mode of cultivation were objects so unusual to 
the eye of a European, that I sat some time on 
my horse, contemplating it, with surprise at the 


novelty of the scene, and with pleasure at the 
susceptibility of this noble country, and the 
prospect of what it will become, when it is all 
brought into a similar state of cultivation. 

We called to the superintendant, who very 
civilly came up to us, and pointed out the right 
road, which we had entirely strayed from. We 
wound round the base of the hill, and in abobt 
an hour arrived at the venda of Jacotinga, the 
genuine Indian appellation, which it still retains. 
The venda was a large warehouse-looking place, 
selling every thing like a village shop in England. 
Among other commodities, I observed shelves of 
books, which I went behind the counter to ex- 
amine. Among them were fourteen volumes of 
the Old and New Testament, and two or three 
of the Arabian Nights, in Portuguese, which 
the vendeiro pointed out as a valuable and 
curious acquisition to his library. We could get 
no refreshments here but dry rusks, or rolls of 
wheaten bread baked hard, to keep like biscuits. 
On rummaging about the shop, I discovered a 
pile of small deal cases, and on opening one 
to see what it contained, I found it was a 
delightful conserve of quince pulp and sugar, 
made in the Minas Geraes. This pleasant addi- 
tion we spread on our rusks, and made a hearty 
breakfast. The residence stood in a wide rich 


plain, surrounded by an amphitheatre of green 
hills, covered to their summits with large forest 
trees. Nothing could be more secluded and 
solitary than this lone retreat, which seemed 
the only human habitation within any accessible 
distance ; yet this shop was the emporium, from 
which the district was supplied, with all that the 
people wanted. As yet we had seen nothing 
like a village in the country ; all the habitations 
were single houses at considerable distances in 
a wilderness ; and this in a rich country, within 
twenty-five miles of the capital, where for three 
centuries the people had abundant time to 
increase, and abundant space to occupy. 

From hence we made our way to Venda 
Nova, a place of entertainment newly built, on 
the high road, in which we now again found 
ourselves. We hoped our mulatto might have 
arrived here with our mule, but we could learn 
no tidings of him. We resolved to wait for 
some time, in hopes he might come up, and 
called for coffee ; but in the midst of a country, 
where thousands of acres were covered with 
this plant and cana, not a grain of either 
coffee or sugar was to be had at an inn. We 
were persuaded to try some came secco, which 
was dressed for us, but after a fruitless effort 
at mastication, we gave it up in despair, and 

VOL. II. c 


agreed that the Irish were not far wrong in 
calling it sole-leather. To mend our fare, a 
negro appeared with a deep basket full of land 
crabs. These disgusting-looking insects were 
of a cylindrical shape, about half a foot long, 
of a poison-looking green hue, and soft pulpy 
shells ; but they were particularly distinguished 
by large claws, and long eyes projecting from 
the shells, which they rolled about in all 
directions.* The basket was emptied into a 
pot of boiling water, but we felt as little dis- 
posed to feed on them dressed as raw. They 
were brought from the salt marshes, where the 
day before we had seen their young and other 
species in such myriads. 

Next came an old free negress, with a young 
slave of her own sex and colour, carrying a 
bundle. She was very talkative ; and when 
she found we were English, went on with great 
volubility, endeavouring to pronounce the names 
of all the English she had known at Rio, and 
seemed proud of the extent of her acquaintance. 
Her young slave was her only property, and 
she made a good livelihood by hiring her out 
as a beast of burthen, to whoever wanted her, 
and for whatever purpose. Many persons, 

* Cancer ruricola. 


black and white, about Rio, live in the same 
manner. They possess a single slave, whom 
they send out in the morning, and exact at 
night a patac. They themselves do nothing, 
lying indolently about, and living on this in- 
come. Whatever more the slave is able to get, 
goes to his own support. This mode of life 
gives rise to infinite dishonesty and petty theft, 
as the slave, on pain of the severest castigation, 
is obliged to procure the money perfas et nefas. 

I had occasion to remark in this place the 
exceeding fecundity of nature which charac- 
terizes Brazil. There stood in an open green 
before the venda, a large tree, which was 
covered with an infinite variety of animal and 
vegetable life. The stem was perforated and 
burrowed into, by thousands of ants of various 
shapes and sizes, who formed sundry colonies 
in different places, and were all moving about 
with their accustomed industry and activity. 
From the larger branches above were hanging- 
like bags, various nests of moribundos (different 
kinds of wasps and hornets), who covered the 
upper parts like a cloud, -while they moved 
about those pendant cones. In the higher 
smaller branches, various birds had built their 
nests, particularly the amoo, a large black bird, 
and sundry kinds of smaller ones, bentivis 



and beijaflors, who fluttered over the blossoms 
in a continued circle. Nor was vegetable life 
less exuberant ; from every part hung down 
different parasites— tilandsias, stapelias, epiden- 
drons, and a variety of other air plants — on 
arid parts of the stem, deriving their sustenance 
solely from the atmosphere, blooming in ex- 
ceeding beauty, with their transparent succulent 
stems, and rich scarlet blossoms. This sapless 
tree was instinct with life ; and I counted fifteen 
different species of animal and vegetable exist- 
ences, supported on the withered branches. 

Having heard nothing here of our absent 
guide, we were obliged to hire another to con- 
duct us to Sao Pedro, at the foot of the great 
Serra, where we intended to pass the night, and 
yet hoped to find him. Here we arrived at 
seven in the evening, and learned nothing of 
him. The country, from hence to the sea, had 
latterly been infested with a banditti of dis- 
charged sailors and soldiers, and they had, but 
a short time before, committed several depre- 
dations ; so we took it for granted our mulatto 
had fallen into their hands, and had been either 
attacked and robbed, or gone off to join them, 
a circumstance which his wandering habits ren- 
dered not improbable. He had on his mule all 
our means of travelling, including our money ; 


so we had no alternative but that of returning 
in the morning. 

Our lodging for the night was very comfort- 
less. It was the property of, and kept by, a 
Senhor Francisco, the cousin of a Brazilian 
marquez. He was himself an uncommonly 
handsome man, six feet six inches high, and 
muscular in proportion ; but his dress and 
appearance was that of a beggarman. His coat 
was a very ragged jacket, of rusty black stuff, 
and his pantaloons, of dirty cotton, were equally 
ragged, through both of which his shirt hung out 
in ribbons. His head was covered with an old 
shapeless straw hat, and he had neither shoes 
nor stockings. Notwithstanding his athletic size, 
his motions were singularly indolent and lazy, and 
his whole delight was in lying stretched in the 
sun ; notwithstanding this, he was gentlemanly 
in his manner and conversation. His venda 
was not in better order than himself. It con- 
sisted of a very dirty shop, in which provisions 
and ragged wearables were lying about in the 
most disgusting confusion ; a kitchen next it, 
in which were two or three very dirty negro 
wenches ; and inside, a room for sleeping, where 
bags, barrels, and filth of all kinds were heaped 
up ; and in one corner was an old rush-bottom 
seat, which was the cama, or bed. The whole 


ragged edifice was built of poles,, set upright, 
to which split bamboos were bound horizontally 
by sipo, a tough creeper, used in the country 
for the purpose, and, therefore, called Brazilian 
nails : the intervals were filled up with blocks 
of mud the size of bricks, dried in the sun ; these 
had shrunk up, leaving an open interval round 
them, through which the wind entered and the 
sky was seen, so that the wall resembled a check 
apron, with cross-bar lines of light. 

The attendants were in perfect keeping with 
the house and accommodations. The cook was 
a little black woman, christened Luzia, who 
was twenty years old, and four feet high. She 
was tattooed in a singular manner. The flesh 
of her forehead and nose was curiously raised 
up into protuberances the size of peas ; these 
formed a line across her forehead, and another 
from that down to the tip of her nose, like two 
strings of large black beads ; and, to make the 
resemblance more complete, a similar bead-like 
ring went round her neck. These curious pro- 
tuberances were as hard and consistent as warts, 
and must have been attended with considerable 
pain in the operation ; but it was performed 
when she was so young, that she had no recol- 
lection of it. Her diminutive person was singu- 
larly dirty, her only covering being a very 


offensive tattered shift, as black as soot ; so 
that in colour, stature, and appearance, she 
exactly resembled a young sweep. Her habits 
were accordant to her person. While preparing 
a fowl for us, she seemed to have a particular 
affection for the entrails, which she carefully 
laid by for herself. 

Curious to learn some particulars of the 
history of this creature, I found, on inquiry, 
she was from Mozambique, and one of that 
diminutive race from the south of Africa, that 
partake of the stature of a pigmy and the habits 
of a Hottentot. It is remarkable, that the 
most highly prized negroes are those which are 
blackest in colour, and are born nearest the 
equator. They are the largest and strongest 
in person, the most active in movement, and 
the most intelligent in understanding. As they 
approach the south, the race degenerates, and 
there is a gradual deterioration of the faculties 
both of body and mind, when the colour is less 
black and more tawny. Since the treaty which 
prohibited the importation of slaves to Brazil, 
from any place north of the equator, the trade 
has been directed to the south, and the latter 
importations have been of a feeble and dimi- 
nutive race, from the region on both sides of 
the Cape of Good Hope, and called by the 


general name of Mozambique ; and of these, 
Luzia was a perfect specimen. As the breed 
is so inferior, they are sold proportionably 
cheap ; and, therefore, our parsimonious and 
ragged host purchased her, and one or two more 
of her country, for his establishment. 

Having eaten sparingly of the food prepared 
by our poor handmaiden, we placed our sad- 
dles under our heads for pillows, and with no 
covering but our cloaks, we lay down to sleep. 
In a short time, I felt something crawling over 
me, and soon found I was assailed by a legion 
of carapatoos, which occupied the crevices of 
the walls, and that the house was as prolific 
in insects as the tree. After endeavouring to 
destroy some, I fell asleep through fatigue ; 
but in the morning, I found several were firmly 
fixed by their probosces in my flesh. These 
Luzia undertook to remove. One or two she 
was able to extract, by a dexterous appli- 
cation of her fingers, attended with much 
pain, for the skin followed the insect to a 
considerable stretch before it separated. When- 
ever one was extracted, she held it up to the 
light : if it had its proboscis perfect, she laughed, 
said ta bo — " good," and then put it into the fire. 
One broke and left it behind, which afterwards 
caused me much pain and inflammation. She 


treated the remainder, which could not be de- 
tached, in a curious way : — She cut the body 
in two with a pair of scissors, and then applied 
snuff to the adhering part ; in some little time, 
the insect feeling rather uneasy after such an 
operation, began to move, gradually retracted 
his fangs, and dropped off. 

At a little distance from the house was a large 
rancho, or shed ; and as this place is the great 
thoroughfare which leads over the mountains, 
it was full of muleteers and their cargoes. 
Near the rancho, was a great number of poles 
set upright in the ground, and to these the 
mules were tied, eating their provender. Under 
the shed were piled up their cangalhas, or pan- 
niers, and their cargoes of salt or coffee, ranged 
in regular order for the company to which they 
belonged. In the midst was a fire on the 
floor, over which was a triangle of sticks, and 
from this was suspended the kettle, preparing 
food for the men. Beside this, was the tro- 
pero, or leader, in his hammock, suspended 
on low poles, and round him was his troop, 
stretched on the ground. The rancho was 
large, and contained several of these groups, 
which had a very picturesque appearance. 

As this was the only road by which Patricio 
could pass into the Minas Geraes in this direction, 


and we could hear nothing of him, we gave 
him and our luggage up as things we were 
never likely to see again; and we were just 
preparing to set our faces again towards Rio, 
when our mulatto and mule appeared, de- 
scending a hill, with every thing safe about 
them. His mule had tired just after we had 
left Iraja, the morning before, and, as is usual 
with these animals, lay down on the road, and 
refused to move : he, knowing her habits, lay 
down beside her, and quietly waited till she 
got up again ; and, having heard of us, pursued 
us to S. Pedro. I felt as if I had injured 
honest Patricio, by doubting his integrity, and 
tried to make it up, by a 'greater feeling of good 
will towards him. We now got ready to de- 
part, not for Rio, but with great satisfaction 
turned our faces to the pile of mountains that 
stood before us. 

The muleteers also were now in motion, load- 
ing their mules for the ascent, and we all set out 
together. First advanced the leading mule, a 
large and portly animal, and highly decorated 
with rings and head-bands, ornamented with 
beads and gilt knobs, having musical bells sus- 
pended at each side of his head, and a tall 
pyramidal tassel issuing from between his ears. 
He was followed by the rest, in a long line, 


with their cangalhas, generally loaded with 
salt, every three or four attended by a negro 
or mulatto, with a straw hat and cotton 
drawers, and who carried in his hand a calabash 
full of black feijaos, bedded in white farinha, 
which he ate as he went along. Next fol- 
lowed the tropero, a tawny Brazilian, on a 
little horse, with a large-brimmed felt hat, a 
long puncho, that fell over him and his pony, 
and huge silver spurs on his naked heels. 
Horizontally on his saddle, was laid a long 
gun, the butt and muzzle of which appeared 
at each side, from under his puncho cloak. 
It was quite picturesque to see these troops, 
winding their way up the face of the vast 
mountain that rose before us, and to hear the 
harmonious jingle of the bells echo from the 
hollow glens. 

Among those who ascended the serra, was 
a lady and her attendant. She was dressed 
in a riding jacket and petticoat of nankeen, 
and a large straw hat tied, not under, but 
across her chin. She rode in long stirrups, 
astride, like a man ; and in her holsters she 
carried a pair of pistols. She was not fol- 
lowed, but preceded by a negro in livery, on 
another horse, who was her avant courier. 
Though not a robust or muscular person, she 


seemed stout and careless, — dismounted like a 
man before us, without the smallest embarrass- 
ment, — took a glass of caxas at the venda, 
to fortify her against the mountain air, — re- 
mounted, — examined her pistols, to see that 
all was right for any event she might be 
liable to, — and again set off, her own protector. 
Such figures are very common in the country. 
The wives of fazendeiros are frequently left 
widows, manage by themselves, afterwards, 
the farms and slaves, and in all respects as- 
sume the port and bearing of their husbands. 

Before we set out, our indolent, ragged, but 
intelligent host, pointed out to me a plant 
which was growing in a marshy spot not far 
from the rancho. This was the ticu palm,* 
which the Brazilians are beginning to use as 
a substitute for hemp and flax. The leaf is 
long and exceedingly fibrous, covered with 
small spines. When bent in the middle, the 
ribs of the leaf, which are very brittle, crack 
and separate ; the ends are then drawn down 
at each side, and leave a series of strong fibres 
of the best quality behind them, which are very 
applicable to the purposes of manufacture. The 
tree is fifteen or twenty feet high, and the stem 

* Bartris acanthocarpos. 


as thick as the wrist, divided into joints, with 
a circle of spines round each. It yields also 
an acid fruit, which grows in clusters on the 
summit of the stem. It consists of a stone 
covered over with a pulp, and enclosed in a 
purple skin, so that it is very like a bunch 
of purple grapes. The fruit is cooling and 
agreeable on a hot day, and is sometimes 
made into vinegar. The stone exactly re- 
sembles a cocoa nut in miniature, and contains 
a kernel within also. It is sold in the streets 
of Rio, and called coco ticu. The Brazilians 
expect to find it a substitute for flax and hemp. 
From the Atlantic Ocean at Angra, com- 
mences an irregular semicircle of mountains, 
forming a sweeping chain of about 150 miles; 
cutting off the lower and more fertile lands of 
the coast, and forming the first great barrier of 
the interior. This is called by different names 
in different places; and where we crossed it, 
the Serra d'Estrella; though that name is 
peculiarly applied to the more eastern part of 
the ridge. This serra, though not fifty miles 
from the capital, is still nearly in a state of 
nature : and I now for the first time entered 
the primeval woods of America, which remain 
precisely in the state they were left by the 
receding waters of the flood. I had heard 


much of the grandeur and sublimity of an 
American forest ; but the reality exceeded my 
conceptions. The road,, or rather path, winded 
along the edge of deep vallies and ravines, from 
the bottom of which trees shot up to a most 
extraordinary height; and some of them could 
not be less than 400 feet. 

There is a continued contest for light and 
air in the vegetable world ; and when numbers 
of trees are together, they all shoot up with 
emulation to out-top their neighbours ; and 
when they have attained that eminence, many 
of them begin then, and not till then, to send 
out lateral branches. In this region, where the 
vital powers of plants are so strong, the contest 
is carried on with wonderful vigour, and the sap 
ascends to an incredible distance from the root. 
In some places, where either by design or ac- 
cident the wood had been burnt down, an 
insulated tree perhaps escaped, and stood by 
itself in solitary magnificence at the bottom of 
a glen ; it was then that its gigantic propor- 
tions, and the curious structure that accident 
had given to the process of vegetation, were 

I had the curiosity to leave the path, and ride 
up to one of those solitary giants, to contem- 
plate it more closely. The stem had run up 


without putting out a single lateral shoot, till it 
had ascended above its fellows ; and then it 
pushed them out horizontally, forming a canopy 
of branches over their heads ; and when they 
were burnt away, the canopy still remained, 
but at such a height, that I could but in- 
distinctly see that part of the stem from which 
the branches issued ; and they looked like a 
little forest suspended in the air. 

Sometimes a tall tree had lost its branches, 
from fire or some other cause, and the im- 
mense stem was covered with climbing plants, 
which had shot up from the ground, till they 
had surmounted its summit, and terminated in 
a point at the top ; and the whole slender cone 
of vegetation resembled a very tall cypress — the 
long pole that supported so many plants, being 
itself dead and sapless. 

Some of these creepers had grown up with 
a young tree, increasing in size along with it, 
till the two stems were of an equal thickness — 
the tendrils of the former twining round the 
neck of its supporter, by a band as dense as the 
cap of the cross-trees of a man-of-war ; and then 
shooting above it, like the top-mast from the 

When we arrived at the summit of the ridge, 
we remarked another circumstance in the 


prolific soil of the country. At the place 
where vegetation ends in other regions, it was 
here in its greatest luxuriance. This vast 
ridge, I found, was not a chain of rock, but 
enormous mounds of clay, having a stratum 
of vegetable soil a thousand feet in depth. It 
is only necessary, therefore, to burn down the 
woods which encumber the ground, and the 
sloping surface is every where convertible into 
the richest gardens. We found the very sum- 
mit treated in this manner. The Marquez de 
S. Joao Marcos, who owns large estates in these 
mountains, has every where begun to cultivate 
their sides. We crossed an extensive patch, of 
many hundred acres on the highest point, just 
opened in this way ; and we emerged from a pri- 
meval forest, into a rich plantation on the very 
top of the mountain. Much of the burnt timber 
was yet encumbering the ground ; but between 
the trunks which lay prostrate, rich plantations 
of mandioca, milho, and cana, were shooting 
up their vivid green stems. One of these 
newly planted tracts had a singular appearance. 
It was a deep circular cavity, like the crater of 
a volcano ; last year it was a mass of enormous 
timber, shooting up from the bottom, till the 
tops of the trees were nearly on a level with 
the road. It was now a huge cup of rich 


sugar-cane. The constant humidity of this 
elevated region gives a security to the vegetation 
of crops, which they have not always below, 
where they sometimes fail ; and did so this year, 
for want of rain. Our way led round the edge 
of this crater ; and while I looked down into 
it, and saw the means of human life thus ex- 
tended in such a place, which a profusion of 
useless vegetation only had before occupied, 
perhaps, since the flood, I could not help 
feeling the highest respect for the patriotic 
man who had conceived and executed such a 

There are many such enterprising agricul- 
turists now in activity in the country, among 
the native Brazilians, whom the late king and 
the present emperor have most judiciously en- 
nobled ; conceiving that the highest honours 
should be conferred on the best benefactors of 
mankind. The proprietor of this place is one 
of the most distinguished ; he was created a 
baron by Dom John, and a marquez by Dom 
Pedro. This ennobling of farmers, which I 
have heard Europeans laugh at, and call a pros- 
titution of title, appears to me to be highly 
proper and praiseworthy. In the present state 
of society in this country, the agriculturist is the 
promoter of its best interests ; and he who causes 



a blade of esculent matter to grow where it did 
not before, deserves and ought to be rewarded 
by such honour and distinction, as the govern- 
ment can confer upon him ; not only as a 
remuneration for his deserts, but as an en- 
couragement for others to follow his example. 
The highest nobility in Europe do now, and 
those of Brazil will hereafter, date their dis- 
tinction from the labours of their ancestors in 
the field ; but in the eye of reason and religion, 
my friend, which is the most estimable title — 
that derived from the destruction of human 
life, or that from its preservation — from him 
who wasted populous places, or from him who 
planted populous places in a waste ? 

We then descended the serra, and arrived at 
the lovely valley which lies on the other side. 
Behind the first great chain is one of less 
extent, enclosing a semicircular area of small di- 
mensions, but of surprising richness and beauty. 
Through the centre of it winds a large stream, 
fertilizing it with its pure and limpid current ; and 
beside this water stood the house of the Marquez 
de S. J. Marcos, which presented a very simple 
and farming appearance. It was a long barn- 
like white -washed edifice, with irregular win- 
dows ; and there was neither garden nor enclo- 
sure to ornament it. It was surrounded by an 


irregular village, of eighty or ninety houses, or 
huts, in which the slaves of the estate were 
located. All the inmates of both sexes were 
scattered over the sides of the hills about us, 
hoeing or forking, while the children, left to 
themselves, were scampering about the green, 
or swimming like Newfoundland dogs in the 
river. The appearance of this place contrasted 
sadly, not only with the romantic and picturesque 
scenery in which it stood, but with the cultiva- 
tion and improvements which were everywhere 
creeping up the mountain around us. 

The conferring titles of distinction in this 
country, however gratifying to individuals, and 
applying an incentive to deserve them, has in 
many instances operated very unfavourably to 
its best interests. Those on whom they are 
bestowed, are involved in unnecessary expenses, 
from which they would be otherwise exempt. 
Attendance at court brings with it a show and 
profusion, which exhaust their means; and 
living at Rio abstracts them from the neces- 
sary attendance at their fazendas. Almost all 
the nobility are greatly embarrassed in their 
circumstances from this cause ; and it deprived 
this patriotic marquez, I was told, of the means 
of providing a decent house for himself, though 
so highly improving the country about him. 



We met here his two sons riding to Rio. 
They were fine handsome boys, elegantly ap- 
pointed in their horses and attendants ; and 
whatever deficiency there was in the house, 
there was none at all in the personal show and 
display which their rank demanded. 

From hence we proceeded along a lovely 
and fertile vale, watered by the river and its 
branches. Among the many beautiful shrubs 
and flowers which adorned these banks, was the 
datura,* which attained the height of ten or 
twelve feet : the blossoms were of a prodigious 
size, some of them hanging down in snow- 
white bells, nearly a foot long, and covering the 
branches with the greatest profusion. All the 
banks of the rivers were thickly clothed with 
this highly-prized ornament of our conser- 
vatories. Toward evening we arrived at the 
large rancho of Botaes. At some distance was 
the mansion of the fazendeiro who accommo- 
dated us with a quarto and cama, chamber and 
beds, at his own house. It stood on a rising 
ground, and commanded a sweet pastoral view 
of the valley below, which our host was bringing 
into a good state of cultivation. He was a grey- 
headed, corpulent, good-humoured old gentle- 

Brugmansia Candida. 


man, who received us cordially, and in a short 
time set before us a smoking dish of roast pork 
and onions, with the constant accompaniment 
of feijao and mandioca meal. While at dinner, 
a negro girl who attended us, seemed fraught 
with some important intelligence, and continued 
to look mysterious, grinning with her white 
teeth, and making signs which neither my com- 
panion nor I could comprehend. We after- 
wards discovered, that it was connected with a 
curious trait of Brazilian manners. 

The old man and his wife had no children, 
so they sent for a brother's child to keep them 
company, and manage their family. This young 
lady was very comely ; and having the prospect 
of a good inheritance from her uncle, she 
thought right to look out for some agreeable 
and worthy partner to share it with. My com- 
panion, possessing these requisites, had caught 
the eye of the fair Victorina ; and not having 
an opportunity of speaking to him herself, had 
communicated, by means of the attendant 
slave, her partiality for him, and an intimation 
that, if he was actuated by similar sentiments, 
she would marry him, and share with him 
the inheritance she expected from her good 
uncle. I was greatly astonished and amused by 
this communication, but he was not ; he knew 
it to be not at all uncommon, in a country 



where ladies are very susceptible ; and, from 
the secluded situations in which they live, 
have but few opportunities of selecting a part- 
ner, who they think would make them happy; 
and when one occurs, they do not let it pass, 
but are prompt to avail themselves of it. This 
deviation from the established etiquette of Eu- 
ropean usage, does not convey any imputa- 
tion of want of delicacy on the part of the 
ladies. Victorina was as modest as she was 
comely ; she sat in the remote part of the house 
with her aunt, superintending her domestic con- 
cerns, and seemed retiring and diffident, and not 
at all disposed to attract the admiration of any 
other person than him, on whom she had fixed 
her affections. And had my friend been dis- 
posed to settle himself in this rich vale, she 
would no doubt have made him a good and 
amiable wife. 

Before we departed, two Brazilian gentlemen 
arrived; one of them was a member of the 
guard of honour from the Minas Geraes, and 
was returning, after having served the term of 
his attendance on the emperor's person. He 
was exceedingly indignant at some disrespect 
shown to the corps, and seemed to speak the 
sentiments of all the rest. The enthusiasm 
which caused the first establishment of this 
body had now subsided, and a growing feeling 


of dislike to a service, which abstracted them 
from their business and their homes, to a great 
and inconvenient distance, was generally felt and 
expressed : and this was greatly increased by 
the manner in which they had been treated. 
Some of them, he said, either from carelessness 
or by design, had not cherished their whiskers, 
which are considered essential to military cos- 
tume. They were all sent to the Ilha das Co- 
bras, and kept confined in the fortress till they 
grew to the military size, and not allowed to be 
at large till they were fit to be seen. On the 
day of presentation, also, they were, as they said, 
very injuriously treated. It was usual for them 
only to attend as far as the Campo d'Acclamacao, 
and there be dismissed ; but from hence they were 
compelled to proceed to S. Christovao, like 
a guard of common troopers, and then dis- 
charged with as little respect, in a very abrupt 
and unceremonious manner. These things did 
not seem to deserve much consideration in a 
military point of view ; but it seemed very in- 
judicious to treat a number of spirited and 
independent gentlemen, possessing so much in- 
fluence in the country, as if they were common 
soldiers ; and so to alienate their good will, and 
entirely indispose them to the service they were 
called on to perform. 


Among the aids of industry about this fazenda, 
the old gentleman had a very rude and primitive 
machine for grinding or rather pounding milho. 
The grain was previously steeped in water, and 
then thrown into a large stone mortar the size 
of a churn. Over this was a long and heavy 
beam of wood, supported near the centre by the 
fulcrum of a high post ; at one end was a pole 
shod with iron, at right angles with the beam ; 
at the other a large trough. Into this trough, 
a stream of water conducted from a hill, fell out 
of a long spout. When the trough was filled, 
the beam at that end descended, till the in- 
clined position caused the water again to run 
out, and then it recovered its horizontality ; and 
the iron-shod pole, at the other end, descended 
into the mortar, where a negro sat beside it, to 
throw in grain and push it under the point. 
This most clumsy and inefficient machine was 
exceedingly slow in its operations. A great 
quantity of water, which at some times in the 
year is very precious, was unnecessarily ex- 
pended, and a man's labour was nearly lost the 
whole day in watching its slow operations. Yet 
this is the only implement for pounding mandioca 
and milho, the two great essentials of life in this 
country, and it is one of the effects of slavery. 
Several attempts were made at Rio to introduce 


machines to abridge manual labour, particularly 
at the custom-house ; but as this would enable 
them to dispense with the hire of slaves for the 
same purpose, it was resisted and discouraged 
by all the proprietors. The same feeling exists 
in the country, where they are sometimes at a 
loss to find employment for their numerous 
black establishments. 

Our way the next morning lay across 
low ridges of a serra, which were still more 
beautiful than the first, and displayed still 
greater marks of that improving spirit, which 
seems, every where we passed, alive in Brazil. 
The sides of the mountain were cleared by fire, 
and the vegetation of useful esculents substi- 
tuted for forest trees. All along the road, new 
ranchos and vendas were about being erected, 
and we passed those of Graminho, Matta Caes, 
and Bassura ; almost every mile of the road pre- 
sented us with a Brazilian inn, the rancho of 
which was crowded with mules and muleteers, 
and round the doors droves of black cattle, pro- 
ceeding from the interior to the coast, either for 
the consumption of the increased population of 
Rio, or for the shipping in the harbour. When 
we consider that it is but a few years, compara- 
tively speaking, since these roads to the interior 
were opened ; that the mountains here were 


the great barrier, behind which the rich province 
of the Minas Geraes lay, a kind of terra incognita, 
approached only by a long and circuitous route 
in another direction; we are astonished at the 
spirit and energy of improvement which the 
present state of things has called forth. These 
wild and solitary mountains were actually now 
as populous with passengers, and commodities of 
every kind, as any of the roads of England, not 
near the capital, or other large city. 

We now descended these second ridges, and 
came to a more level country forming the valley 
of the river Parahiba. On approaching its banks, 
it had become dark, and we could not distin- 
guish objects ; but our attention was directed 
to the sounds of industry all about us, which 
seemed to proceed from forges at work ; and 
we heard the continued strokes of hammers 
on the anvils, and saw a succession of sparks 
struck from the heated iron. On inquiry from 
Patricio, he said they were the ferradors or 
smiths ; and I was glad to see so extensive an 
establishment of these most useful artisans, and 
a manufactory of iron implements set up in this 
infant part of the country. On a nearer ap- 
proach and closer inspection, however, we found 
no forges, and nothing at the side of the road 
but a marsh, which extended to the river. The 


smiths were bull frogs, called by the Brazilians 
ferradors, from the exact resemblance of their 
croak to a man striking a bar of iron on an anvil ; 
and the sparks were, not scintilla? proceeding 
from the operation, but fire-flies glittering in the 
marsh, and darting from the frogs who feed on 
them. The deception was very complete ; and 
in no circumstance, I suppose, did objects of 
nature so exactly resemble those of art, as these 
now presented to us. A cruel amusement, I 
was told, was sometimes practised on ferradors, 
in South America. A bull frog is brought to 
a forge, and he is made to catch at real sparks 
of fire proceeding from the iron, supposing 
them to be the fly, his natural food. 

When we arrived at the bridge of the Para- 
hiba, we found that we were too late to pass 
over. In Brazil, all journeys are suspended 
at the Ave Maria, that is, the vespers to the 
Virgin, that commence after sun-set. In- 
stead of a curfew, this period is announced in 
the country by a very simple and beautiful 
circumstance. A large beetle * with silver wings 
then issues forth, and announces the hour of 
vespers by winding his solemn and sonorous 
horn. The Brazilians consider that there is 
something sacred in this coincidence ; that 

* Pelidnota testacea. 


the insect is the herald of the Virgin, sent to 
announce the time of her prayer ; and it is for 
that reason constantly called escaravelho d'Ave 
Maria, or the Ave Maria beetle. On the hill 
of Santa Theresa, I have heard it of an evening, 
humming round the convent, and joining its 
harmonious bass to the sweet chant of the 
nuns within, at their evening service. 

Though the hour was now past, the toll- 
keeper of the bridge, who knew my companions, 
very civilly suffered us to cross, after paying 
a toll of eight vintems for each man and 
horse, and we slept at a venda on the other 
side. The river here is about one hundred 
yards across, shallow, and full of rocks. Not- 
withstanding this, when the flood comes down 
in the rainy season, it is a powerful current, 
and frequently carries the bridge, which is of 
wood, away with it. This long and rapid river 
issues from a small lake not very far from 
the ocean, in the province of Rio de Janeiro, 
about five leagues from Paraty, and from the 
serra of that name ; and after receiving the 
tributary streams of Parahibuna, Piabunda, and 
several other considerable rivers, and forming 
several cataracts, particularly near its mouth, 
it falls into the Atlantic to the north of Cape 
Frio, having made a circuit from sea to sea, 
nearly through the whole province, of about 


four hundred and fifty miles. Its whole course 
is distinguished by the rocky ledges over which 
it winds its way, scarce navigable for canoes, 
and by the sugar-cane plantations which adorn 
its banks. The valley of the Parahiba, which 
lies, generally speaking, between the parallel 
chains of Paraty and Martiquera, is about 
eighty miles in breadth, intersected with several 
minor branches of these great ridges, and we 
now proceeded to cross them. 

When setting out in the morning I perceived 
a large wound in the neck of my horse, from 
whence issued a stream of blood. Alarmed, lest 
he should have been stabbed, or wounded mali- 
ciously, so as to disable him from proceeding, I 
inquired into the cause, and Patricio informed 
me it was occasioned by the morcego. This is 
a large bat, which, like the devil of Surinam, 
attacks both man and beast. When a party under 
Cabeca da Vacca were exploring the sources 
of the Paraguay in the year 1543, they attacked 
him in the night and seized on his toe ; he 
awoke and found his leg numbed and cold, 
and his bed full of blood; they at the same 
time eat off the teats of six sows. They fix on 
the thumbs or great toes of men ; and the 
rumour of the country is, that while they suck 
the blood through the aperture they make, they 


keep waving their sooty wings over their victim, 
to lull him to a death-like repose, from which 
he never wakes ; and in the morning he is found 
lifeless, and the floor covered with pools of 
coagulated blood, disgorged by the vampire 
when full, to enable him to extract the last 
drop of the vital current. They sometimes 
grow to the size of pigeons. One of these 
horrid animals had attached itself to the throat 
of my horse when he stood in a shed, and 
clasping his neck with its broad sooty wings, 
had continued to suck till it fell off gorged 
with blood; and if not timely driven away, 
might have left him dead in the morning. 
They reckon in Brazil no less than eighteen 
kinds of morcego, nine of which are voracious 

The country before and behind us was very 
beautiful, both up and down the river. As we 
advanced we came into a richer vale, where 
stood the fazenda of the Marquez de Baependi, 
I think, another of those noblemen, who, I am 
informed, had derived his titles principally from 
his improvements, as a landed proprietor and 
agriculturist. In the same district, lay certain 
lands, which had formerly belonged to the 
Jesuits, and, when they were expelled, had 
fallen to the crown. This immense estate 


commences where that of the Marquez de 
Baependi terminates, and consists, it is said, of 
ten square leagues ; and is at present in dispute 
between the crown and the present occupants. 

We now began to ascend the third ridge of 
mountain which intercepted our way since we 
left Rio. The ascent was very gradual, and 
was called, not the serra, but the mato of the 
Parahiba. Mato, literally, means thicket, hills 
or flats, covered with trees of a smaller growth. 
The improvements which we had hitherto passed 
through, seemed here to terminate : the woods 
were uncut or unburnt, and the sides of the 
hills, with very few exceptions, were left entirely 
in their primitive state. Among other marks 
of this, we were hard beset with tribes of 
monkeys and parrots, which kept up a loud and 
incessant chattering, as they climbed the trees, 
or fled across the road, as if they were scolding 
us as intruders into this their natural and undis- 
turbed domain. They never were seen single, 
but always a number together. The road was 
also perforated and burrowed with armadillos, 
which have not yet been expelled by cultivation 
from this region. The way, nevertheless, was 
crowded with droves of mules and herds of 
cattle, and, for the first time, we saw a few 
sheep ; they were lean and ragged, with very 


large horns, as if they all were rams ; we were 
told they were going to Rio for the use of the 
English, who, no doubt, did not find them equal 
to south-down. 

In about three hours we ascended the highest 
ridge, and, from the summit, saw the plain and 
valley at the other side, having in the midst of 
it the town of Valenca, the first collection of 
houses we had seen in the country since we left 
Rio. What a remarkable proof of the tardy 
progress of population under the old system, 
when, after a lapse of three centuries, but a 
single town had been built within 100 miles of 
the capital ! About ten o'clock we arrived at it. 

This was originally an aldea, that is, a village 
where civilized Indians are located. They con- 
sisted of four tribes ; the Puris, of a dark 
colour, and diminutive stature ; the Araris, who 
are fairer, and of a more robust and larger 
frame ; the Pittas, and the Xumettos, who all 
originally inhabited the valley of the Parahiba. 
These retain their distinctive characters, and 
the Puris and Araris are still pointed out by 
their size and colour. As a mark of civilization, 
they cut their hair short, and no longer let it 
remain hanging long, lank, and loose over their 
shoulders, nor are they to be distinguished by 
their dress. 


The present town consisted of about fifty or 
sixty houses, with a church, built without any 
regularity, on the side of a hill. At the bottom 
was the inn, or estalagem, as it was called on 
a sign-post at the end of the house, and it had 
some pretensions to the name ; we w r ere shown 
into a dining-room fitted up neatly with green 
gilt chairs, table covered with oil-cloth, looking- 
glass, and window curtains. I desired to w r ash, 
as a refreshment, for the day was very hot, and 
they brought me a flat, square, shallow dish 
with water. I asked for soap, and they pointed 
out a particle of what appeared to me brown clay, 
about the size of a pea, stuck on the edge ; they 
then brought me a head of Indian corn ; on 
opening the leaves I found it filled inside with 
a soft brown earth, which, I was informed, was 
sabao, or soap. It was manufactured with the 
ashes of the bassura, or broom plant,* which 
abounds with alkali, and is used in preference to 
any other for the purpose ; it is the weed most 
difficult to eradicate from their pasture lands, 
where its many stems grow up, and its yellow 
blossoms cover the surface, like ragwort in our 
fields. It is cut as well for brooms as for alkali. 
The earthy saponaceous substance manufactured 

* Si da lanceolate. 


from it, smeared our hands and face in a most 
filthy manner, and we could hardly wash it 
off again. 

Our breakfast was soon sent up, which con- 
sisted of a large hot dish of pork fried in oil, 
a smoking platter of boiled greens, a copious 
bowl of feijao preto stewed in abundance of 
toucinho, and a pan of fried eggs. This fare 
accorded so ill with the burning heat of the day, 
that we turned from it with great disgust, and 
requested a little milk to make some tea, but 
none was to be got. It was rather extraordinary, 
that though we met many thousand head of 
cattle on the road, and saw cows in all direc- 
tions grazing on the natural pasture of the hills, 
we could not procure a drop of milk, though we 
inquired for it at every house. The inhabitants 
did not appear to make any use of it, and butter 
was an unknown substance. This was worse 
than even my experience in Turkey, where all 
other preparations of milk, except butter, are 
always to be had in abundance. To console us, 
however, our host provided a large jar bottle of 
Portuguese wine, of an excellent quality, which 
he kept, he said, for his friends. The dust and 
cobwebs were blown from the cork, and we were 
regaled with some admirable red wine, which 
our talkative attendant, whose tongue never 


ceased, continued to praise with extraordinary 

A scene now presented itself highly repugnant 
to European feelings, particularly those who 
witness it for the first time. We had overtaken 
on the road several troops of slaves, bought at 
Rio, and driven like sheep into the country to 
be sold at the different villages. A market was 
here opened, just before the inn door, and about 
thirty men, women, and children were brought 
there. The driver was the very model of what 
I had conceived such a fellow to be. He was a 
tall, cadaverous, tawny man, with a shock of 
black hair hanging about his sharp but deter- 
mined looking visage. He was dressed in a 
blue jacket and pantaloons, with buff boots 
hanging loose about his legs, ornamented with 
large silver spurs. On his head he wore a 
capacious straw hat, bound with a broad ribbon, 
and in his hand was a long whip, with two 
thongs ; he shook this over his drove, and they 
all arranged themselves for examination, some 
of them, particularly the children, trembling 
like aspen leaves. He then went round the 
village, for purchasers, and when they arrived 
the market was opened. The slaves, both men 
and women, were walked about, and put into 
different paces, then handled and felt exactly as 

e 2 


I have seen butchers feel a calf. He occasion- 
ally lashed them and made them jump to shew 
that their limbs were supple, and caused them to 
shriek and cry, that the purchasers might per- 
ceive their lungs were sound. 

Among the company at the market, was a 
Brazilian lady, who exhibited a regular model 
of her class in the country. She had on a 
round felt hat, like an Englishman's, and under 
it a turban, which covered her head as a night- 
cap. Though it was a burning day, she was 
wrapped up in a large scarlet woollen cloak, 
which, however, she drew up so high as to show 
us her embroidered shoes and silk stockings ; 
she was attended by a black slave, who held an 
umbrella over her head, and she walked for 
a considerable time deliberately through the 
slaves, looking as if she was proudly contrasting 
her own importance with their misery. 

On turning away from a spectacle, where 
every thing, though so novel, was so revolting, 
we were accosted by a man with a gaudy 
flowered silk waistcoat, who spoke a little 
English, and said he was a German Doctor, 
settled in the aldea. He informed us, that the 
people in the neighbouring valley treated the 
slaves with the greatest inhumanity. They 
allowed them but a scanty portion of farinha or 


feijao, and never any animal food ; yet on this 
they compelled them to work fourteen hours a 
day, exposing them to the alternations of heat, 
cold, and wet, without the smallest regard to 
health, comfort, or life. The consequence was 
that the deaths exceeded the births in such a 
proportion, that if it was not for the constant 
supply sent down in this way, the negroes of 
the district would soon become an extinct race. 
He himself possessed two slaves, which he kept 
alive and healthy by a different treatment, which 
he recommended in vain to his neighbours to 
adopt, even for their own sakes, if not for that 
of humanity. 

We left Valenca about one o'clock, and pro- 
ceeded through a romantic and irregular country 
in which improvement had made but little way, 
and arrived in the evening at Rio Bonito, or the 
beautiful river. This does not justify its name ; 
it is muddy, discoloured, and choked with fallen 
trees, and the rancho, and all connected with it, 
was in a denuded marshy plain, very dirty and 
neglected. The master, notwithstanding, like 
our ragged host at S. Pedro, was an opulent 
man, and had made a purchase of a tract of 
land, extending for a square league about him. 
We could get no room of any kind to sleep in, 
as the open shed of the rancho was the only 


accommodation afforded here for passengers ; but 
the evening was very cold, after a hot day, and 
we wished for some better shelter. At length, 
by great favour, we were permitted to lie down 
on the clay-floor of the venda, which we found 
swarmed with bats and rats. 

The rats in this country are of a most savage 
breed : living in the woods, they acquire the 
ferocity of other animals of the forest, and are 
considered as formidable. Twenty negroes, be- 
longing to a gentleman here, had been nearly 
eaten alive by them. The poor men had 
been so tired with work, and had slept so 
sound, that their toes were nearly eaten by a 
legion of rats, before they cried out ; and such 
accidents are very common. We had scarcely 
commenced our supper, when these animals 
began to stir about us in all directions, excited 
probably by the food. We spread on the ground 
a coira, or bull's hide, and stretched ourselves on 
it. Stuck in the mud of the ragged wall, was a 
little iron cresset of oil, with a wick for a lamp, 
which gave a dim light, sufficient to see the 
dreary place in which we lay. Presently we 
perceived the rats issuing through the crevices 
of the walls about us on all sides, and the bats, 
disturbed from their places above, began to 
fly from their concealments. On looking up 


towards the roof, I think I never saw a more 
dismal and portentous aspect than it pre- 
sented. Several of these horrid vampires were 
silently floating and wheeling over us, and 
the broad shadows of their sooty wings were 
continually seen gliding along the walls and 
rafters. Presently the light went out, and we 
were left in the dark with these companions, 
and imagined every minute we felt the rats at 
our feet or the bats lighting on our faces. We 
immediately got up, drew on our boots, leather 
caps, and gloves, and being thus prepared for 
bed, we again wrapped ourselves in our cloaks, 
and fatigue subduing fear, we fell asleep, and 
awoke in the morning without loss of blood. 

The first object we saw on going out, was 
a poor cow before the door. She had been 
shut up under the same roof, and divided from 
us only by a mud partition ; all her legs were 
lacerated by the rats, and in her neck were 
several deep punctures, made by the bats, from 
which the blood was still streaming ; and there 
she stood before us, a goary example of the 
ferocity of our nocturnal companions. Several 
cows in this place had lost their teats, which 
the bats particularly fasten on. 

We set out in the morning, at seven o'clock, 
from Rio Bonito, which, notwithstanding its 


name, is, with every thing about it, by far 
the most odious and dismal place we had seen. 
We supposed we had now passed all the serras, 
and should have met with level ground, but 
we again ascended, and the country still con- 
tinued a successive chain of hills, covered 
with forests. Among the trees which here at- 
tracted our attention, were the different species 
of bamboo, some of which were of enormous 
size, and some of singular beauty. Of the first 
kind were many which measured two feet 
in circumference, sending out large lateral 
branches, and so tall as to resemble forest trees. 
Others of equal magnitude, without any branches, 
shot out a single stem, divided into regular 
joints, smooth and tapering to a point, till they 
attained to an immense height. Some were not 
so thick, but ran up till they became so slender, 
that they bent down, gradually tapering to a 
very fine point, as thin as a horse-hair, and 
waving across the road like long fishing-rods. 
I cut one of them, which had shot up from the 
valley below, about the middle, where it was 
not quite so thick as my wrist. After carrying 
it for some time in my hand, where it felt 
lighter than a cart-whip, I laid it along the 
road, and measured its length, when I found it 
fifteen yards long, so that the entire plant must 


have been ninety feet, tapering and polished 
the whole way with the most exquisite finish. 
A fourth species was smaller than the rest, and 
threw out from the joints a variety of stems, as 
thin as catgut, and from the points, at the extre- 
mities, issued long lanceolate leaves ; this was 
so prolific, that it covered the whole surface 
of the forest, climbing to the tops of the highest 
trees, and clothing them with the most exqui- 
site verdure. As we rode along the side of a 
glen, this plant had sometimes covered the 
opposite face, where it ran from tree to tree, 
till the whole sloping surface was covered with a 
level uniform curtain of the richest drapery. 
This vegetable substance is highly useful to the 
people ; it is called capim do mato, or grass 
of the thicket. Whenever a company stop at 
a rancho, near where it is found, the negroes 
are sent off to cut it, and it affords to the horses 
and mules the most rich and succulent pro- 
vender ; and to the cattle in the neighbourhood, 
a supply of green and wholesome fodder at all 

We now came to a cross, erected by the road- 
side, on the burnt stump of a tree, on which 
was laid an offering of fruit and flowers ; this 
was to mark where a man had been found 
murdered. These crosses are very common, 


and they have been mentioned as a proof of the 
insecurity of the roads,, and the frequency of 
murder and robbery committed on them. But 
this is a most erroneous conclusion. Crosses 
are often set up to mark a road, or fulfil a 
pious vow, though no death has occurred ; and 
where a dead body is found, from whatever 
cause it may have proceeded, a cross is placed 
to mark the spot, though the person should have 
died a natural death, or have been killed by acci- 
dent or by lightning ; and even when a murder 
is committed, it is seldom perpetrated by a 
robber, but more frequently arises from the 
irritability of the blacks, or still more frequently 
of the mulattos, who accompany the troperos. 
They all carry large knives, with broad blades, 
terminating in a long sharp point, called facas, 
as an indispensable instrument for a variety of 
purposes ; but they are the most dangerous 
and deadly weapons that can be conceived. 
Near the handle of the blade, is an aperture, 
the shape of a heart ; in a quarrel with each 
other, they are always prompt to draw this 
dangerous weapon, and readily plunge it up 
to the figure of the heart in their antagonist's 
body, on the slightest provocation. Edicts 
have been issued against the use of these 
knives, but they are still made at Birmingham 


and Sheffield ; and I have seen large cases of 
them open at the custom-house. It was with 
a weapon of this kind, and on such an occasion 
as I have mentioned, that the man was killed, 
over whose hody the cross we now saw was 

At some distance from the cross, was a flight 
of black vultures hovering in the air, and floating 
round the mountain over a particular spot. 
When we arrived at it, we found the carcase of 
a mule on the road, on which they were preying. 
This is a very common occurrence. When an 
overloaded mule lies down, he often never rises 
again. The muleteers take off the cancalha, 
and leave the dying animal to the vultures, 
whose instinct in " scenting their murky quarry 
from afar," is very remarkable. Before they 
have time to consume the body, it becomes very 
offensive ; but no one ever thinks of turning it 
off the road, till its remains are trampled in the 
mud. The vulture is called by a name which 
signifies scavenger, because it carries away the 

About twelve we arrived at Rio Preto, or 
the black river. It here runs through a beau- 
tiful valley, formed by two others meeting at 
this spot, from each of which currents of pure 
limpid water tumble down in cascades from the 


mountains above. The river is very conside- 
rable, being seventy yards wide, and crossed by 
a wooden bridge, about twice as long. It is 
justly called Black Water, from its uncommonly 
dark, but not muddy stream. The water, as 
it passes under the bridge, is shadowed with 
dark masses, which float through it, like clouds 
in the sky. It rolls along a broad deep current, 
unimpeded by any obstruction, and very capable 
of navigation ; and it runs through an exceed- 
ingly rich and fertile country, with verdant 
swards lining its banks. From these natural 
advantages, it is likely to become a place of 
consequence ; and, accordingly, on the opposite 
side of the stream stands a very pretty town, 
already consisting of sixty or seventy white- 
washed houses, having two or three spacious 
streets, and evincing a neatness and comfort, 
which we had not witnessed before, since we 
left Rio. 

The Rio Preto is here the boundary of the 
province of Rio de Janeiro, and the town at 
the other side is the first in the Minas Geraes. 
It is, therefore, appointed by government as the 
place where the toll is collected, and all goods 
examined, passing from one province to the 
other. At the foot of the bridge, on the other 
side, was a very large rancho, filled with pack- 


ages of every kind, under inspection. Here our 
goods were deposited, and we were conducted, 
by a little dark Brazilian, in a blue uniform, 
and rich gold epaulets, to the office, where, for 
the first time, our passports were examined. 
Mine being very unusual, excited much specu- 
lation ; it was handed about the office, and studied 
with profound attention by the people there. In 
paying the duty, we proffered the notes which 
circulate through the province ; but they would 
not be received. They had cunningly esta- 
blished the toll-house on the Minas side ; and 
so, having just passed the boundary line of cir- 
culation, where notes are not a legal tender, 
they insist on being paid in coin, and so make 
from 20 to 40 per cent, on copper, and from 
60 to 120 on gold and silver, according to the 
state of discount. 

While the tolls were adjusting, I walked to 
the other side of the bridge, and was about 
to enter a house, to ask a question ; but a 
policeman first shouted, and then ran after me, 
to stop me. He informed me that the bexigas, 
or small-pox, was in that, and some other 
houses, and they were all put in quarantine, 
as the disorder was here considered with as 
much alarm as the plague in Turkey. Not- 
withstanding this, the people of the place have 


not yet overcome the prejudices against vacci- 
nation, and the only precaution government 
can take, is to shut up the infected houses, and 
interdict all communication. 

On my return, I was surprised to meet a 
boy with an enormous tumour in his neck, 
exactly similar to the goitres of the Alps. 
It had, moreover, the same effect on him. He 
was weak in intellect and diminutive in person, 
and seemed in all respects to resemble the 
Cretins. This, I heard, was an exceedingly com- 
mon complaint in this part of the country, and 
through all the Minas, where it is called papos, 
and is generally attended with the same con- 
comitants, both mental and physical. It attacks 
not only men, but cattle ; cows are very often 
affected by it. It is attributed by the people 
of the country, as usual, to some quality in the 
water ; * but by others, with as much probability, 
to want of salt, an article in this part very 
scarce. The rich, they say, who can procure 
this necessary article, are not at all so subject 
to papos as the poor ; and they told me many 
stories of persons afflicted with the complaint 

* This opinion is as old as the time of Pliny, who says it attacks 
not cows, but pigs as well as men. " Guttur homini tantum et 
suibus inlumescit, aquarum quae potantur plerumque vitio." — Lib. II. 
cap. 37. 


in the interior, cured by going accidentally to 
some sea-shore. A boy from the Minas was 
sent on some occasion to Rio, with an enormous 
tumour on his throat. When arrived at the sea, 
he drank the water, not aware of its quality, 
but found its saline taste so great a luxury, 
that he continued to take it every day while he 
remained; his tumour gradually subsided, and 
he returned to his friends quite cured. The 
European term goitre is derived from guttur, 
the throat, which the Brazilian term papo also 
means ; and it is the opinion in Europe, that 
it is occasioned by drinking snow-water. It is 
impossible that this could be the only cause ; 
for here it exists to a great extent, among people 
who never saw, and, perhaps, never heard of 
snow, and had no more notion of the existence 
of such a thing, than the King of Siam. It 
seems, however, to be confined to mountainous 

The people apply to the tumour a poultice of 
gourds, and drink, as an alterative, water which 
has stood over the powdered earth, formed 
in the interior structure of ant-hills. This is 
found to be tempered by a glutinous secretion 
from the insect, of an acid quality, which may 
be powerfully medicinal. In general, however, 
no remedy is used, as it does not always affect 


the health, and is not considered a deformity — 
quis tumidum gattur miratur in alpibus $ This 
is particularly the case with corpulent ladies in 
the Minas Geraes, where it is often connected 
with the major em infante mamillam. 

In the evening we arrived at the fazenda of 
Funil, kept by a young Brazilian woman, to 
whom the land all round appertained, as her 
paternal property. She was corpulent and very 
good humoured. We found her in the act 
of making toucinho. A disembowelled pig was 
lying on its back, and one of her slaves was 
scooping it. Presently he extracted every thing 
but the fat, and the pig retained its shape with- 
out a particle of bone or flesh. Her cow, also, 
had just calved ; so for the first time we ob- 
tained the luxury of milk, and made some tea. 
Our hostess requested to taste it, as it was a 
thing she had heard of, but never seen before. 
She took it without cream or sugar, and then 
requested a cup for her niece who was not well. 
The people in the interior of Brazil still regard 
it only as a medicine to be sold, as formerly, 
in apothecaries' shops. In the evening a neigh- 
bour came in with his Spanish guitar. He sat 
with our hostess in the room next to that where 
we slept, and continued to play with great per- 
severance till morning. The music was wild 


and sweet, and soon lulled me to sleep ; but I 
awoke several times in the night, and still the 
indefatigable minstrel continued his serenade to 
his mistress.^ 

The next morning we were concerned to find 
Patricio was unable to proceed. One of the 
mules had kicked him in the side, and another 
had trampled on, and lacerated his foot, and he 
had yet scarce recovered from his severe illness 
at Rio ; still he wished to press on, but my 
companion would not let him. We were, how- 
ever, here joined by two other negroes, with 
loaded mules, who had been sent on before, and 
we set out with them. It was Sunday morning, 
and it struck us that we should not pass the day 
without performing its duties. We left the road, 
therefore, and entered a lofty wood beside it. 
Here, having found a suitable spot in a deep 
recess, we knelt down ; and, like the first Chris- 
tian missionaries in the new world, offered up 
our devotions in the solemn temple of woods and 
mountains : and T confess to you I found the 
usual feelings of piety on such occasions, still 
more exalted by the sublimity of the natural 
objects around us. It is not improbable that 
the Church of England service, was never per- 
formed in these forests of South America before. 

We now began to ascend the Serra Negra, 

VOL. II. f 


and the woods and mountains about us ex- 
hibited a dark and lurid appearance we had 
not before seen, and growling thunder was 
heard at a distance. In a short time the whole 
atmosphere became involved, and the lightning 
burst out in all directions. Nothing was want- 
ing, but this explosion, to complete the sub- 
limity of the gigantic forests and towering 
mountains around us. Flash succeeded flash, 
followed by constant crashes of thunder, so 
vivid and loud, that the woods seemed in a 
blaze, and the mountains felt as if shaken 
under us. The echoes were so extraordinary, 
that the sound came to our ears as though it 
had issued from all the points of the compass. 
We had humbly addressed the Almighty just be- 
fore, and it seemed as if now his awful voice was 
replying to us, from every part of the heavens. 

The thunder was succeeded by rain, and we 
descended the other side of the mountain, fol- 
lowed by a deluge which poured down after 
us. We passed the ranchos of Souza and 
Dona Anna ; and in the evening we arrived 
at Rio do Peixe, or the River of Fish, drenched 
with wet. Our wish was to have a fire; the 
rain was very chilling, and for the first time 
in Brazil I felt cold ; but a fire in the house 
was a thing unknown, nor is there a chimney 


in the country. As the rainy season had now 
decidedly set in, and we might look forward 
to be exposed every day to such drenching 
torrents, without the means of being again 
dried, we resolved to adopt Captain Parry's 
plan, to reserve a change of dry clothes at 
night, and put on our wet ones every morning ; 
and to this precaution I think we were much in- 
debted. Our lodgings were as miserable as could 
be well conceived ; a wet clay floor and ragged 
walls, open to wind and rain. As the place 
is called Rio do Peixe, we hoped to get some 
fish for supper; but though the river abounds 
with them, no one would take the trouble to catch 
them. We rummaged out a coira to keep us 
from the damp clay ; and notwithstanding Mr. 
Willis's caution, I made some caxas into hot 
punch, which I believe was not without its use ; 
we then lay down, and were surrounded by our 
nocturnal visiters. The rats crept up and down 
the walls, and the bats hovered over us with 
their shadowy wings, but we did not suffer 
from their attacks. We rode in shoes, and re- 
served our dry boots to draw on with our lea- 
ther nightcaps, going to bed. 

We set out the next morning in a deluge 
of rain. As we advanced, the signs of culti- 
vation were few ; no woods cleared on the 



road side, and the march of improvement seemed 
to have been arrested before it had advanced 
to this distance from the capital. We passed 
the ranch os of Rosa Gomez and Capitao mor, 
and proceeded up the serra of Mantiqueira, 
which here opposed its barrier of vast forests 
clothing the sides of lofty mountains, where 
our limited view was lost in dense woods. But 
about twelve o'clock the face of nature suddenly 
changed its aspect. After a long steep ascent 
up the sides of a thickly-wooded mountain, we 
gained its summit, and from thence there 
burst on us a view at the other side, singularly 
contrasted with that which we had left behind. 
The mountains and forests suddenly ceased, 
and before us extended to the distant horizon 
a country without a hill or a tree. It consisted 
of undulating plains of various elevations, entirely 
denuded of wood, but clothed with the richest 
verdure ; and the sudden transition from one 
state of nature to the other was very striking. 
This region of Brazil is called the Campos, 
and our future road lay across it. 

On looking back from this elevation on the 
country we had left, we saw it an immense 
region of mountains in nearly parallel ranges 
of one hundred and fifty miles, over five of 
which we had crossed ; and they were all 


covered, with the exception of a few scanty 
patches, with primeval forests, which seemed 
undisturbed since the earliest periods. For 
the first time, in the year 1798, it was pro- 
posed to make a road through them from Rio, 
and so penetrate to the rich province of the 
Minas, by a more direct route than the in- 
convenient and circuitous one hitherto used ; 
and commissioners were appointed to carry it 
into execution as far as the Rio Preto, the 
boundary of the province. The road we had 
passed was then, for the first time, pushed 
through this hitherto impassable wilderness, 
and it seemed in several places to have been 
well constructed, and laid down with stones or 
flags on the more difficult passes. But since 
that time it was neglected ; the constructed 
parts had fallen to pieces, and the materials 
lay about, encumbering the way, and rendering 
it still more difficult. 

The Indians were even then the occupants 
of the woods, and were generally found resi- 
dent on the banks of the rivers and streams, 
which intersected the country. An elderly 
gentleman, who was secretary to the under- 
taking, informed me that it was necessary for 
the commissioners and workmen to go con- 
stantly armed, to be protected against their 


hostility. The Puris lay on the river Parahiba, 
and others on the streams which fall into it. 
During the administration of the Marquez de 
Pombal, these people were protected ; and it 
was decreed that no Indian should be reduced 
to a state of slavery. This created such a 
feeling of security, that they lived in the 
vicinity of whites with confidence. By a 
mistaken humanity, however, permission was 
afterwards given to the Brazilians to convert 
their neighbours to Christianity ; and for this 
laudable object they were allowed to retain 
them in a state of bondage for ten years, and 
then dismiss them free, when instructed in the 
arts of civilized life, and the more important 
knowledge of Christianity. This permission, 
as was to be expected, produced the very 
opposite effects. 

A decree for the purpose was issued so late as 
the year 1808, by Dom John, and it was one 
of the measures which he thought best cal- 
culated to reclaim the aborigines, who had just 
before committed some ravages. He directed 
that the Indians who were conquered, should 
be distributed among the fazendeiros and agri- 
culturists, who should support, clothe, civi- 
lize, and instruct them in the principles of our 
holy religion, but should be allowed to use the 


services of the same Indians for a certain number 
of years, in compensation for the expense of 
their instruction and management. This un- 
fortunate permission at once destroyed all inter- 
course between the natives and the Brazilians. 
The Indians were every where hunted down 
for the sake of their salvation ; wars were ex- 
cited among the tribes, for the laudable purpose 
of bringing in each other captives, to be con- 
verted to Christianity ; and the most sacred 
objects were prostituted to the base cupidity 
of man, by even this humane and limited per- 
mission, of reducing his fellow-creatures to 
slavery. In the distant provinces, particularly 
on the banks of the Maranhao, it is still prac- 
tised, and white men set out for the woods, 
to seek their fortunes ; that is, to hunt Indians, 
and return with slaves. The consequence was, 
that all who could escape, retired to the re- 
motest forests ; and there is not one to be now 
found in a state of nature, in all this wooded 

It frequently happened, as we passed along, 
that dark wreaths, of what appeared like smoke, 
arose from among distant trees on the sides 
of the mountains, and they seemed to us to be 
decisive marks of Indian wigwams ; but we 
found them to be nothing more than misty 


exhalations, which shot up in thin circumscribed 
columns, exactly resembling smoke issuing from 
the aperture of a chimney. We met, however, 
one in the woods, with a copper-coloured face, 
high cheek-bones, small dark eyes, approaching 
each other, a vacant stupid cast of countenance, 
and long, lank black hair, hanging on his 
shoulders. He had on him some approxi- 
mation to a Portuguese dress, and belonged 
to one of the aldeas formed in this region ; 
but he had probably once wandered about 
these woods in a state of nature, where he 
was now going peaceably along a European 

We had passed through Valenca, one of 
these ald&as of the Indians of the valley of 
Parahiba, christianized and taught the arts 
of civilized life. Another, called the Aldea 
da Pedra, is situated on the river, nearer to 
its mouth, where the people still retain their 
erratic habits, though apparently conforming to 
our usages. They live in huts, thatched with 
palm leaves ; and when not engaged in hunting 
and fishing, which is their chief and favourite 
employment, they gather ipecacuhana, and fell 
timber. They are docile and pacific, having 
no cruel propensities, but are disposed to be 
hospitable to strangers. Their family attach- 


nients are not very strong, either for their wives 
or children, as they readily dispose of both to 
a traveller for a small compensation. They 
are about 300 in number, and still use their 
primitive weapons, bows and arrows. With 
the exception of a few aldeas, and a very 
small space, extending in a few places for a 
mile or two, on each side from the way, the 
whole of this region remains in its original 
state of nature ; and from the way by St. Paul's, 
to the Strada d'Estrella, a distance of fifty 
leagues, or two hundred miles, it is still a 
primitive forest, impossible to be penetrated by 
a traveller, and totally bereft of inhabitants, 
either civilized or Indian. 

The descent into the Campos was long, 
and the road narrow, steep, and dangerous. 
We at length arrived at the bottom, about 
mid-day, and stopped at Pisarao, where we 
got some refreshment. We now entered the 
plains, and the first impression was, that of 
their exceeding beauty. They were not level, 
presenting an irksome flat, like those of Hun- 
gary, Poland, and Russia, which I had passed 
over. They sometimes swelled into consi- 
derable eminences, separated by glens and 
ravines. The elevations were covered with the 
richest sward, and the glens we found were 


wooded with smaller trees and flowering shrubs. 
Imagination created hamlets and cottages, em- 
bosomed in these sheltered vales ; and it only 
wanted sheep and cattle grazing on the slopes, 
to give it the appearance of the richest pastoral 
comities in England, Another circumstance 
also, which added to their beauty and fertility, 
was the number of rivers with which they were 
intersected. In the course of our progress this 
day, we crossed five considerable currents of 
water, besides many trifling streams ; and it 
seemed to us, that such a country, and in such 
a temperate climate, must be peculiarly adapted 
to the grazing of sheep and cattle of all kinds, 
independent of agriculture. Yet all this lovely 
region, which nature seemed to have created 
ready for the use of man, without labour or 
preparation, was without inhabitants of any 
kind. We saw nothing that had life, but ants 
and armadillos — the first erecting large conical 
mounds, like miniature tumuli on the plains 
of Thrace ; and the latter burrowing beneath 
them, and occasionally scampering from one 
to the other. 

In fact, it was not till the year 1810, that 
the road we now travelled was opened. It had 
stopped at Rio Preto ; but in that year it was 
continued on to S. Jose, and these fine downs 


were first made accessible to human industry. 
They were then found, as they are now, a perfect 
solitude ; no traces of Indians or black cattle, 
though it might reasonably be supposed that 
the latter, which had spread to such an extent 
over the other grass-covered regions of South 
America, would have at length spread them- 
selves here also. 

Among the trees which clothed the glens, 
was one which seemed peculiar to this re- 
gion, and which I had seen no where else, 
the Chilian pine.* It generally stood distinct 
from other trees, with its singularly imbricated 
dark foliage, in large tufts at the ends of the 
branches ; the older leaves having fallen off, left 
the remainder entirely bare. This, I believe, 
is the only individual of the pine tribe found in 
Brazil, and no where else but in the Campos, at 
least I never observed it among the almost infinite 
variety of trees, which the forests we had passed 
presented to us. Here it was very abundant, 
and attained to a considerable size, measuring 
twelve feet round the stem, but by no means 
exhibiting the majestic aspect of its noble re- 
lative, the pine of Norfolk Island ;f indeed, I 
greatly doubt if they ought to be classed in the 

* Auricaria imbricata. t Auricaria excelsa. 


same genus. It is used for planks, and serves 
all the purposes of deal timber in Brazil. But 
the richness of the plain surpassed in the mag- 
nitude, variety, and vivid hues of its flowers. 
Bulbs of various sizes were swelling above the 
soil, protruding their succulent stems, crowned 
with bright large bells, and a thousand other 
kinds, the highly-prized ornaments of our green- 
house, were here scattered about the grass, with 
the most varied profusion. 

After several hours' ride through this beautiful 
solitude, we at length met one or two scattered 
houses, and a few cattle straggling among the 
flowers ; but we saw on a hill an immense flock 
of sheep whitening its sides, and we were well 
pleased to perceive they had at length applied the 
pasture of these downs to their most appropriate 
use. But when we arrived among them, we 
found the flocks were nothing more than hoary 
tufts of a species of wild oats, whose bending 
heads, at a distance, much more resembled a 
feeding sheep, than the barometz of Tartary 
resembled a lamb. Our disappointment at this 
deceptive sign of civilized life, and its wild and 
preternatural appearance, seemed to render the 
plains still more desolate and solitary. 

But the circumstance that most attracted my 
attention was the ant-hills. These were conical 


mounds of clay, raised by the industry of their 
inhabitants to the height of ten or twelve feet ; 
I rode close by several which were considerably 
higher than my head on horseback, and nine or 
ten feet in circumference. The exterior coat is 
a yellow hard clay, but on making a perpendi- 
cular section, the inside is found divided by a 
number of horizontal floors, or stories, of a hard 
black earth, in thin plates, shining sometimes 
like japan-ware. These are inhabited by my- 
riads of large brown ants, who are capable of 
exuding a viscid fluid, which tempers the clay 
to the moisture necessary to form those floors. 
Some species make covered ways in this manner, 
and I have seen tubes, or tunnels, of a consider- 
able length, by which they pass and repass, 
unseen, from one habitation to another, for a 
considerable distance. 

They sometimes migrate, and their progress 
is attended with extraordinary circumstances ; 
they then go straight forward, devouring every 
thing in their way, like a flight of locusts. A 
garden near Rio obstructed their line of march ; 
they found a stick accidentally lying across a 
deep ditch of water, which they used as a bridge, 
and continued to pour in such myriads by this 
passage, that in a few hours the garden was full 
of them, and every thing green disappeared. 


From hence they proceeded on, till they met 
the house of Mr. Westyn, the Swedish charge 
d'affaires, and they made their way through it. 
He told me he was suddenly awoke in the night 
by a horrid sensation, and on jumping out of 
bed, he found himself covered with these insects, 
whose crawling and biting had awoke him. The 
whole house was full of them. Impelled by 
some extraordinary instinct, they continued to 
advance till the whole body passed through, and 
the next morning there was not one to be seen. 
In their progress they devoured every other 
insect. Spiders, cock-roaches, flies, and every 
similar thing of the kind that infested the house, 
became their prey, and when they disappeared, 
all other insects disappeared along with them. 
I have seen them frequently take up their 
abode in a large bamboo, and every joint of the 
long cylinder was a separate colony swarming 
with an ant population. 

To the ant-mounds of the Campos, the 
negroes attach an extraordinary superstition. 
They call them copim, and they say they con- 
tain a toad, a serpent, and a bird ; that the toad 
eats the ant, the serpent the toad, and the bird 
the serpent, who then flies off, and leaves the 
copim empty. We saw several of them in that 
state, the interior all falling away, and nothing 


remaining but the crust. We discovered, how- 
ever, another cause for it. The armadillos have 
here burrowed every where over the plains, and 
their holes are full as numerous as the ant-hills. 
They frequently perforate below the copims, 
and getting inside, devour the ants, and destroy 
the structure of their habitation. We discovered 
one fellow in the very act ; he immediately bolted, 
and we pursued him. I think I never saw a 
droller chase; the awkward speed of the animal, 
so unfitted for running, and the eagerness of the 
negroes, who every moment threw themselves on 
him, to endeavour to keep him down. At length 
we captured him. His head resembled that of a 
pig, with a flat circular snout, used, like a pig's, 
for the purpose of rooting up the earth. His 
body was clothed in a dense, tough, scaly coat, 
like that of a crocodile, which hung down over his 
sides, as the flap of a saddle, and so resembled 
a coat of mail, that the animal is justly called 
the hog in armour ; and he was armed with very 
strong claws, by which he burrowed in the 
ground. I secured him in a bag, and had great 
hopes of keeping him alive, and of observing 
his habits. 

In the evening, we arrived at the venda of 
Jose Goncalvez, where we proposed to pass the 
night. The proprietor was a fazendeiro, and 


owned a large farm all around him : but his 
inn was very comfortless and destitute, though 
it was the only one we had met with since we 
had left Pisarao, a distance of fourteen miles. 
There was no one to superintend it, but a very 
strange-looking negro, who answered all our 
inquiries for refreshment by nada — " nothing." 
A tropero, however, driving mules and cattle, 
had stopped here also, and they were preparing 
their supper at a fire before the door. He 
accommodated us with something, and our 
negroes managed to get something else ; we 
then put on dry clothes, and lay down. We 
were not disturbed with rats or bats. 

We set out in the morning in rain. As we 
always dressed ourselves in wet clothes, the first 
feeling was exceedingly chilling and disagree- 
able ; but in a few minutes we became water- 
soaked with the rain from without, and the 
sensation went off. I had secured my arma- 
dillo the night before in a trough, with plenty 
of milho to eat, and laid over him a heavy beam ; 
but in the morning the beam was removed, and 
he was gone. If he removed it himself, he 
must have been powerfully strong ; my com- 
panion, however, attributed his disappearance 
to the ill-favoured negro. I was very much 
disappointed at his loss. 


We passed the rancho of Juan Leite, and at 
mid-day arrived at Bestioga, the first, and, I 
believe, the only collection of houses in this 
part of the wide Campos ; it consists of ten or 
twelve, scattered at irregular intervals over the 
plain. Among them was one highly acceptable 
to us ; it was a decent comfortable venda, kept 
by a very obliging good-humoured man, who 
was quite attentive, and really glad to see us. 
He spread for us a coira, which must have be- 
longed to an animal of extraordinary size. The 
general appearance of the oxen in the country 
is small, but some of the few that we met with 
on the downs, were of enormous magnitude ; 
a proof how favourable the pasture is to the 
growth of cattle. The hide of the animal we 
now lay on, covered the whole floor of the 
apartment, and would have been a prize ox at 
any show in England. Our host spread on our 
carpet several dishes, among the rest some beef, 
the first we had tasted since we left Rio. Every 
thing else was clean and comfortable, and quite 
accordant to our European habits. In order to 
enjoy it, we changed our wet clothes, and, 
stretched upon our bull's hide, we devoured the 
only palatable repast we had yet met with. 
They dress all their hides in this country with 
the hair on. We saw several of them about 



the village, in a state of preparation ; they were 
expanded on elastic poles, stuck in the ground, 
which were continually enlarged, till the leather 
was dried and stretched to its utmost extent; 
in this state it makes an excellent carpet by day, 
and is the usual bed by night. 

While at our repast, an enormous negress 
came in and sat down to look at us. She was 
the companion of our little host, and the mother 
of a number of mulatto children, who were 
to possess all the property of their parents. 
Such connexion, unsanctioned by marriage, is 
the usual domestic arrangement of all Brazilians 
of this class, particularly in the interior. 

We again set out in a deluge of rain, and 
were soon water-soaked, notwithstanding our 
cloaks. We met some Brazilian travellers, 
who contrived to keep themselves perfectly dry 
with their simple covering. Their dress was a 
large slouched hat, which projected over their 
head and shoulders like a penthouse. Their 
cloaks were punchos of dark blue cloth, with 
light blue lining. They were nothing more 
than oblong pieces of woollen-drapery with 
slits in the middle, into which they thrust 
their heads ; and the long side flaps fell down 
below their feet, while before and behind they 
were shorter, and just covered the saddles. 


When they walk, they throw up the flaps on 
their shoulders, and the light lining forms an 
ornamental border. The rain ran down, and 
was thrown off as from the roof of a house ; 
and by this simple contrivance they were per- 
fectly dry, while we were wet to the skin, 
under London waterproof cloaks with double 
capes, made on the last improved construction. 

In the evening we arrived at Ilheos, which 
was also a well-inhabited village. It seemed 
remarkable, that the population of these regions 
should increase as we receded from the capital ; 
but we were now approaching the mining dis- 
trict, which was early colonized, and from it 
population advanced to the contiguous parts 
of the Campos, and here in a direction not 
from, but towards the chief city. 

Ilheos was surrounded with gardens, in which 
peaches, vines, cabbages, and several fruits and 
vegetables of the old world were growing and 
flourishing. A large chapel stood on a rising 
ground, and several white-washed houses gave 
it the air of a comfortable and thriving village. 
The venda was kept by a learned man, who 
also kept a school; and when we entered his 
shop, our ears were saluted by the busy hum 
of children, all reciting their lessons together, 
in a room behind it. We went in among them, 



and found ten or twelve boys, decently dressed, 
sitting on benches, all reading out at the same 
time. Their only books were letters, written 
to the master on various subjects of his busi- 
ness ; and every boy had a thumb-stall carefully 
laid on the paper, to preserve the precious 
manuscripts. Their master was obliged to use 
this mode of teaching, as he had no books, and 
his pupils learned to read writing before print. 
Some of the letters were exceedingly obscure 
and badly written, and I think would puzzle 
any black-letter man in the Record-office. It 
seemed extraordinary that where printing is now 
so common, and so many journals and gazettes 
published and circulated, no elementary books 
of education should as yet be thought of. 
I promised the master to inquire at Rio for 
such things, and if I could meet with them to 
send him a supply, which he said would be 
the most grateful boon I could bestow. 

Our supper was served up in unusual style ; we 
had not only silver spoons, which one might na- 
turally expect in the neighbourhood of the mines, 
but we had knives to cut our meat, an article of 
luxury we had not been able to procure in any 
house before, since we left Rio. That the 
orientals, who feed with their fingers and dis- 
pense with forks, should also do without knives, 


is not surprising; but that Brazilians, who do 
not use fingers, but carefully convey their meat 
to their mouths on the point of a fork, should 
have no knives to cut it with, seems an extra- 
ordinary anomaly. Whenever we inquired for 
knives on the road, we were told the police pro- 
hibited their use ! Yet every negro or mulatto 
slave carried one at his belt, with a sharp and deadly 
point, like that of a dagger, while freemen com- 
plained that they could not keep a faca de mesa, 
a table knife, in their house, to cut their dinner. 
We had also at supper a very beautiful conserve ; 
this was the rind of the maracouja, which was 
a bright, rich, transparent green, of an excellent 
flavour. I wished to see the fruit which pro- 
duced it, and our host brought me a branch 
with both fruit and flower. It was a species of 
hardy passion flower.* It appears to me that it 
would be a good substitute for the common kind 
we rear in England,f and which is seen in the 
front of every house, as it ripens very perfectly 
in all the hedges, though the temperature here, 
where large flat Dutch cabbages freely grow, is 
colder than that of an English summer. It 
might easily be introduced, and made an agree- 
able addition to our esculent plants. 

* Passiflora incarnate. t Passiflora caerulca. 


Our accommodation, in other respects, did not 
correspond with silver spoons and knives. My 
bed-chamber was a cold miserable shed, with 
damp and dirty walls, covered with cobwebs and 
carapatoos. In this place, I had the unusual 
luxury of a bed, stuffed with the leaves that 
form the calix of Indian corn, on which were 
laid embroidered muslin sheets, and a rich va- 
riegated quilt. Before lying down, a gamella 
dish, as large as a tub, was brought in full of 
hot water and caxas ; and in this bath of punch 
I was bathed. This is a common refreshment 
in Brazilian houses ; and I now had it for the 
first time, to obviate the effects of long-continued 
cold and wet. Notwithstanding these applica- 
tions I passed a sleepless night; I had hardly 
laid down, when I was attacked with a legion of 
carapatoos, disturbed from the rustling leaves on 
which I lay tossing about, and a multitude of 
other insects, which were continually falling on 
me from the mouldy walls. This house had, 
notwithstanding, a considerable approximation 
to the convenience of an inn for travellers ; and 
it is to be expected in this improving country, 
that the mixture of filth and finery, will be gra- 
dually superseded by a sense of uniform comfort 
and convenience. 

We set out next morning in a deluge of cold 


rain, and were soon very wet and dreary. The 
rains, which generally last with little inter- 
mission from November to February, that is, 
during the three summer months, are attended 
with various degrees of cold. Those which 
come with a north or west wind are warmer ; 
those with a south or east are cold, and are 
called for that reason chuva fria, the cold 
rain, and they last for eight days. We had 
now passed three of these ; and more cold 
or comfortless weather I never experienced in 
Russia, in the latitude of 60° north, in winter, 
than I did in this tropical climate at midsum- 
mer. We made a determination, however, 
to arrive at S. Joao, the end of our journey, 
this day ; so we pushed on, through thick and 
thin, with our jaded horses. And here I had 
occasion to remark the physical superiority of 
a negro. One of our mules had tired, and 
was left behind ; and my portmanteau was 
strapped on a black. To this arrangement I 
objected altogether, as I thought the poor 
fellow had enough to do to carry himself on 
foot, such a long and toilsome journey, without 
any incumbrance. He, however, wished it, 
and he set off at the top of his speed, and 
almost left us behind. We now found him 
of essential service, and his sagacity equal to 


his strength. We were going over an immense 
elevated muddy plain, intersected with paths, 
and none of them distinct ; and the rain was 
descending in torrents, with a fierce wind blow- 
ing in our faces. Our negro trotted on before, 
with the portmanteau on his head, much less 
tired than the horses, and, with a sagacity like 
instinct, wound his way, with unerring skill, 
through the intricate multitude of path-ways. 
The downs now assumed a different character ; 
they rose into lofty hills, but still denuded of 
trees. One of these, called Monte Video, is a 
conical mountain, and our path led over the 
very point of the cone. To climb to the top 
of this in a storm of wind, and through a deluge 
of rain, was a perilous enterprise, and I sup- 
posed we could not accomplish it. We suc- 
ceeded with much difficulty ; and from the 
summit, as from another Pisgah, we saw our 
promised land. 

Behind us was the Campos which we had 
crossed, about seventy miles wide. The country 
before us was a new region, and presented the 
face of nature under an aspect totally different 
from the two we had passed. It was neither 
clay mountains covered with forests, nor undu- 
lating naked plains ; it was a land of bare 
stones, where immense walls of rock rose per- 


pendicularly out of the ground, running in right 
lines through the country, and intersecting it 
into vast compartments. Before us lay a long 
ridge of this rocky wall, skirting the horizon, 
and at the bottom stood the town of S. Jose, 
with its white houses and high church, having 
an extraordinary aspect of wildness and soli- 
tude, under the bare ridge of stone that im- 
pended over it. We again pushed on through 
the Morro das Morcejas, and arrived at our 
destination, at six o'clock in the evening, at the 
end of the tenth day, after a very dreary ride for 
the last twelve hours, without any rest or refresh- 
ment for man or horse. The hospitable mansion 
of my companion, however, soon removed all 
the effects of wet, cold, and fatigue. 

The town of S. Jose stands on the right bank 
of the Rio das Mortes, and just at the foot of the 
rocky serra of that name, which rises perpen- 
dicularly from the soil, and runs in a straight 
direction, like a huge wall. It is of a trap-like 
formation, and the different and regular strata 
of stones give it a still more wally and artificial 
appearance, like the cyclopsean architecture' in 
the east. The town is comparatively ancient, 
and was built in the year 1718. It consists 
of about three hundred houses, in several irre- 
gular streets, on the slope of a plain, which 


declines from the base of the serra ; and when 
viewed in certain directions, it looks neat and 
picturesque, as all the houses are whitewashed, 
and the country about is singular and romantic. 
The most conspicuous object is the Matriz, 
or mother- church of S. Antonio, which is con- 
sidered the finest in the province, and stands 
in the most elevated part of the town. Besides 
this, there is a chapel, dedicated to St. John 
the Evangelist, and another to the Rosario, 
with one or two more smaller shrines, and this 
for a population of about two thousand persons. 
Among the curiosities of the town, is a large 
fountain, of antique structure, and excellent 
pure water, which the inhabitants prize very 
highly, and call it by way of eminence, Cha- 

It is here the General Mining Association 
have established their operations. The house in 
which Mr. Milward resides was built by the 
former vigario of the parish, and is the best 
in the town. It is a specimen of the best style 
of building in Brazil ; it has five large Venetian 
windows in front, ornamented with balconies 
and cornices. Within is a spacious and fine 
saloon, with several chambers leading from it, 
and a long corridor, having apartments for ser- 
vants. The ceiling of the rooms is a species 


of mat work, formed of split bamboo, called 
tacwara, crossed and painted in various devices, 
and it is a curious peculiarity of Brazilian houses. 
Below is a spacious court-yard, having in it a 
large bead tree.* This is found growing in 
the centre of every convent in the east, where the 
caloyers make beads of the ribbed seeds. It 
was transplanted by the Latin monks to South 
America, where the ecclesiastics seem equally 
to prize it. The vigario was so fond of it, that 
he raised a wall round the stem to protect it. 
The whole house, which was built for the padre 
by the gratuitous labour and voluntary contribu- 
tions of his parishioners, is a proof that whatever 
vows he made, poverty and self-denial were not 
among the number, for it must have been a fine 
and elegant edifice when new; and indeed the 
houses of all the vigarios, I saw, were the best 
in their vicinity. It was sold, however, to the 
company, after the death of the proprietor, with 
a large tract of garden annexed, for about two 
hundred pounds. 

In the front is a large green, intended to form 
a square, but the buildings meditated were all 
suspended, and many of the inhabitants emi- 
grated from this place to St. Joao d'el Rey, which 

* Melea zedaracht. 


was rising on its ruins ; grass was growing pro- 
fusely in the streets ; most of the houses were 
shut up ; all trade was at a stand ; and no other 
food could be procured but salt pork and black 
beans, with the exception of fowl, or an old cow, 
which was rarely killed., at irregular intervals ; 
all the young cattle, particularly bullocks, being 
reserved for draught. 

The arrival of the English mining company 
arrested the progress of its decay, and changed 
the face of things. So low was then the value 
of property, that a house might be had for 
five patacs per month ; but since the influx of 
people connected with the mines, the same house 
lets for nine or ten milreis. Notwithstanding 
this, and that the value of every thing else is 
raised in the same proportion, the people here 
looked upon the strangers with an evil eye, and 
have not yet overcome the prejudice which an 
inundation of foreigners, of a different faith, 
excited in this solitary and sequestered place. 
This prejudice was greatly promoted by the pre- 
sent vigario, an ecclesiastic of the old school. 
He is now upwards of ninety years of age, and 
still cherishes all that intolerance which he 
received, near a century ago, as part of his 

But whatever influence he exercises on the 


lower classes, in this way, it has had no effect on 
those of a better description, among the chief of 
whom is Senhor Campos, the sargente mdr of the 
town and district. A few hours after our arrival, 
this worthy and intelligent person came to pay 
us a visit. He was an elderly corpulent man, 
with long greyish hair. He is held in high 
estimation, all over the Minas Geraes, for his 
integrity, and his opinions are much respected 
for his intelligence, insomuch so, that he is 
grown into this current proverb : — S. Jose is 
distinguished by possessing — 

Tres cousas — Chafariz, 
Joao Antonio, e a Matriz. 

that is, three things — their church, their foun- 
tain, and their worthy magistrate, whose name is 
Joao Antonio. It was deemed a proper and pru- 
dent precaution by Mr. Duval, who first esta- 
blished the miners in this place, to secure the 
co-operation of this gentleman by appointing 
him to the situation of treasurer of the com- 
pany, and they have found him, on all occa- 
sions, not only an intelligent, but an upright 
and trusty man. The next day, several other 
gentlemen in the vicinity visited us, and among 
the rest, the father-in-law of Senhor Campos, 
the capitao mor. He was a thin old man, with 


long white hair, dressed in a flowered cotton 
frock, with a pole in his hand. They seemed 
cordial and sincere, and not at all affected by 
the prejudices of the vigario, and of this they 
gave us, on the following Sunday, a striking 

All the persons engaged by the company are 
Protestants, except the negroes, and the greater 
part are German Lutherans. One of these, in 
descending the shaft of a mine, fell to the bottom, 
and was killed. This was the first death that 
occurred, and a request was made to bury him 
in the usual cemetery ; but the vigario would not 
permit a heretic to be laid in consecrated 
ground. The gentlemen of the town disap- 
proved of this, but it was a thing in which they 
could not interfere, so his body was deposited in 
the company's garden. On my arrival, his 
friends were anxious that the ground in which 
he lay should be consecrated by the funeral 
service, so I directed to have the grave opened 
for that purpose. The miners met at nine 
o'clock ; we converted the saloon into a church ; 
and, after morning service for the day, we 
walked in procession to the grave. Every 
one present took up a handful of clay, and 
at the words " earth to earth," threw it on the 
coffin, a mode of performing that part of the 


service which seemed to me to be very impres- 
sive. On our return to the house, we found the 
capitao mor, and all the gentlemen assembled. 
They had heard of our intention of performing 
the funeral service, and had come to attend 
at it, to sanction it by their presence, and show 
their approbation of it ; but by a mistake of the 
early hour, they had arrived too late to assist at 
it. This instance of liberality and good sense 
in attending on such an occasion a religious 
service of the reformed church, is a proof at 
once, that prejudice against heretics is hasten- 
ing away, even in the most secluded places, and 
that the Catholic religion of Brazil is not of an 
uncompromising or prejudiced character. It 
was besides a pleasing proof of the good-will 
and harmony that was established between the 
strangers and all the respectable natives. 

Besides the vigario, there are two other resident 
clergymen in the town, who do not seem to 
participate in his prejudices ; one is a negro 
and the other a mulatto, both worthy men, but 
particularly the latter, who, I was informed, was 
a person of remarkable uprightness and sim- 
plicity, and of a very pure and moral life. He 
is counted an excellent musician, and has made 
considerable progress in both the theory and 
practice of music. His acquisitions, however, 


in other respects were, as might be supposed, 
very limited. He called to see me, and, as 
I could not converse well in Portuguese, I 
addressed him in Latin, presuming that it was 
a medium of communication for all ecclesiastics 
of every nation, but the worthy man could not 
speak or comprehend it. I found, however, 
upon returning his visit at his humble apart- 
ment, that he had a collection of the classics, 
and a very fine copy of the Latin bible, which 
he prized highly, and endeavoured to read every 
day. He regretted that there were not more in 
Brazil in the vulgar tongue, and seemed surprised 
to hear me ask him, if there was any objection 
made to the people reading it. He said it was 
not commonly read, only because they had it not 
to read. I thought I should gratify him by 
giving him a coin or two of the Roman Emperors, 
particularly one of Constantine, the first christian 
monarch, which I happened to have about me, 
and which, it is probable, had never before been 
seen in Brazil, at least in this part. But when 
we endeavoured to explain to him the era in 
which they lived, and the number of years 
which had elapsed since the coins had been 
struck, he looked quite confused and puzzled, 
and could not grasp an idea of such antiquity. 
The Brazilians, in general, cannot go farther 


back ill their calculations of time, than the 
arrival of the royal family, the great epoch in 
their history, and which they have some con- 
fused notion was coeval with the creation or the 
flood. Their notions of geography are not much 
more enlarged. Most of the inhabitants of the 
interior of Brazil had wonderfully simplified the 
science of geographical and political statistics, 
by acknowledging only two grand divisions of 
the globe ; one being America, and the other 
Portugal and its dependencies. They have in- 
deed some indistinct idea, that there are such 
places as England, France, &c, but these 
countries were vassals of Portugal. 

I have heard of several ludicrous instances of 
the simplicity which these people displayed in 
conversations between them and my friend Mr. 
Ducal, who, being almost the first Englishman 
that had been seen here, had a great stock of 
European, and to them marvellous, information 
to impart. 

On one of these occasions, Napoleon was the 
theme of conversation. His military exploits 
had been heard of; " but was he not," inquired 
some of the party, " a general in the Portu- 
guese service, who rebelled against our king ?" 

The old vigario, having been in Europe in his 



youth, thought himself of course, and was con- 
sidered, a man of superior knowledge and 
learning to all around him, and as such he would 
generally take a dictatorial share in these conver- 
sations, casting occasionally at our countrymen 
a glance, accompanied by a significant shrug of 
the shoulders, expressive of pity at the ignorance 
of his parishioners. England being one day 
talked of, the old gentleman expatiated on 
the beauty, civilization, and greatness of our 
country, of which he had had most correct in- 
formation, during his residence in Portugal ; and 
to give an idea of its extent, he wound up by 
saying, that of its many rivers, one called the 
Missisippi was so large, that the eye could not 
compass its width ! Since the circulation of 
newspapers, however, which are every where 
read with avidity, these natural effects of igno- 
rance and seclusion are gradually disappearing. 

From his skill in music, the worthy mulatto 
padre is not only the pastor, but the organist 
of the matriz, where I went to hear him 
play on a festival day. He had got, from a 
friend in Rio, some English music, consisting 
of country dances and marches, the names or 
uses of which he did not comprehend ; so he 
applied them to his church services, and it 


was with no small surprise we heard him 
begin his andante with " the Duke of York's 
march," and conclude his allegro with "go to 
old Nick and shake yourself*" This to us 
sounded exquisitely absurd and even profane, 
but it was not so to him or the rest of his 
auditors, who had formed no such association of 
ideas. It was a remark of a dissenting clergy- 
man, that he saw no reason why Satan should 
monopolize all the good music, and he caused 
some hymns in his chapel to be sung to popular 
airs, without regard to their former profane con- 
nexion. The padre was not chargeable even 
with this, for he had no knowledge of their 
previous association, 

The next evening we had a concert. There 
is a number of persons in this small town pro- 
ficients in music ; it is an art in which the 
Brazilians generally show feeling and skilL 
They go about and get up amateur concerts, 
and it is one of the most frequent amusements 
of the place. This evening it was held at the 
house of Mr. Reye, secretary to the company, 
and the beau monde of the town were present. 
Among them was the wife of the sargente mor, 
(who had married her at the age of twelve, and 
had now five children, though she was not quite 
twenty,) and her sisters, one of them a young 
h 2 


bride, not fifteen, who had a little son. The 
ladies sat ranged along a wall at the end of 
the apartment, and the gentlemen along the 
opposite, looking at them. This is always the 
location of company, the men and women never 
having a nearer intercourse than across the 
room. The band consisted of ten or twelve 
persons, blacks and mulattos, who played on 
clarionets and horns ; and among them, as 
leader, was the worthy padre, who now played 
the flute. We were favoured with the national 
hymn, both words and tune, in which all the 
company joined with great enthusiasm, and 
this was alternated by duets, between a colonel, 
an old man of eighty, and a captain, a mulatto. 
At twelve we parted, and the band accompanied 
us home, playing the national hymn. 

The social and convivial intercourse of the 
town was formerly confined to a morning or 
evening visit, at the latter of which a cup of tea 
was sometimes offered, and this formed the 
utmost stretch of hospitality practised. It oc- 
curred to my friend, Mr. Duval, to give these 
people a specimen of different, if not better, 
ways and manners. A day was fixed, and Mrs. 
Duval issued invitations for an evening party. 
At three o'clock in the afternoon the company 
began to arrive, and at four, about eighty 


persons, inhabitants of S. Jose and the neighbour- 
ing places, had assembled. The shutters were 
closed to exclude the glare of day, wax tapers 
were lighted, and a band of music, the leader of 
which was our worthy padre organist, began to 
execute various pieces. Amongst these was our 
" God save the King," which my friend had 
arranged for the band, and which was then for 
the first time heard in this remote corner of the 
globe. Trays of sweetmeats, fruits, cakes, wines, 
liqueures, lemonade and punch, were freely 
handed round and as freely partaken of, and at 
twelve the company sat down to supper, which 
being over, they returned to the drawing-room 
and resumed their seats. Endeavours were 
used in vain to induce them to dance, so re- 
course was again had to music, and to the 
circulation of the trays, which seemed to be as 
much attended to as at the commencement of 
the evening. 

It was now three o'clock in the morning ; the 
company had been assembled almost twelve 
hours; the musicians were nearly exhausted, 
and so was nearly also the stock of sweets, 
cakes, and wines ; but as no symptoms of de- 
parture were discernible in any of the party, 
who all sat round the room with as much 
composure, as if they had but just arrived, it 


occurred to my friend, that perhaps the custom 
of the country might be, for the host to tell his 
guests when they were to retire. He there- 
fore inquired of the sargente mor, what was the 
usual hour at which parties broke up in Brazil. 
The old gentleman looked at his watch, went 
up to the musicians, and bade them tocar huma 
retirada, i( play a retreat." They complied 
with his request, but had scarcely got through 
the two first bars of the air, before the company 
all started up together, took leave, and hastily 
dispersed, and in ten minutes the house was 

The eight days of chuva fria were now past, 
and were succeeded by very delightful weather, 
and I availed myself of it to visit the vicinity 
of the town. We first proceeded to the Rio 
das Mortes, or River of Deaths. It is a large 
stream, crossed over by a wooden bridge, about 
100 yards long, running through a country 
by nature exceedingly fertile, but rendered 
sterile by the art of man in searching for gold. 
Gold was known to exist in the country so early 
as 1543. The Indians made their fishing-hooks 
of it, and from them it was discovered that 
it was found in the beds of streams, brought 
down from the mountains. But the first ore 
found, by a white man, in this country, was 


in the year 1693, by Antonio Rodrigo, a native 
of Thaubate, in the province of St. Paul's. 

The Paulistas are particularly distinguished in 
the history of Brazil, by their enterprise and 
ferocity. The situation of their town, cut off 
from intercourse with other places, having little 
communication with Portugal, and no trade for 
want of an outlet, enjoyed a delightful climate 
and fertile soil, and it was for a long time the 
resort of desperate adventurers, deserters, and 
fugitives. These formed connexions with Indian 
women, and their descendants are distinguished 
even at this day for a large admixture of Indian 
blood. The Mamelucos, as they were called, 
were of a wild, erratic disposition, inherited from 
their mothers ; they grew up without restraint 
of law or religion, and so notorious were they for 
their ferocity and unruly temperament, that the 
population of St. Paul's formed a kind of turbu- 
lent republic, affecting a certain degree of inde- 
pendence in Brazil, and continually acting as a 
lawless banditti. They had a language peculiar 
to themselves, composed of a large proportion of 
Indian words, mixed with corrupt Portuguese, 
and it is always spoken of as a distinct and 
separate dialect. It is to the enterprise and 
daring of these provincials that Portugal was 


indebted for the discovery of gold, and the first 
colonization of the Minas Geraes. 

Rodrigo proceeded on to the province of 
Espirito Santo, with the gold he had discovered. 
From thence he pursued his way by Rio de Janeiro 
back to St. Paul's, having made a complete circuit. 
He died shortly after, but recommended to his 
son to follow up his enterprise. From this com- 
mencement, multitudes of adventurers proceeded 
from St. Paul's, but principally from the town 
of Thaubate ; not, as the Portuguese historian 
says, " em busca de salvagems," to seek for 
Indians, as before, but for gold in the newly 
discovered regions. Their success was so great, 
that the inhabitants of Peratininga followed their 
example, and the two parties, meeting on the 
banks of the river where S. Jose" was after- 
wards built, instead of agreeing in their objects, 
and pursuing together their operations, set 
upon each other like famished tigers, impelled 
by a hunger still more fierce — the ami sacra 
fames. A bloody encounter ensued, in which 
many were killed on both sides, and the river 
was from thenceforth called the Rio das 
Mortes, or the River of Deaths. Other rivers 
are known by the same name for the same 
causes, and the bloody squabbles of the inhabi- 


tants of these rival cities, wherever they met 
in search of gold, are commemorated in several 
parts of the country. The first place where 
gold was found was at Riberao, a small stream 
which falls into the Rio das Mortes, and here 
they built an arayal, or village, called Antonio, 
near the spot where S. Jose was afterwards 

The vicinity of this river every where attests 
the extensive search for gold formerly pursued 
here, as it was for a length of time considered one 
of the richest parts of Brazil, from the profusion 
of the precious metal found on its surface. All the 
banks of the stream are furrowed out in a most ex- 
traordinary manner, so as to be altogether unac- 
countable to one unacquainted with the cause. 
The whole of the vegetable mould was washed 
away, and nothing remained but a red earth, 
cut into square channels, like troughs, with 
a narrow ridge interposed between them. Above 
was conducted a head stream of water, let 
down through these troughs, which were all 
on an inclined plane. The lighter parts of the 
clay were washed away, and the gold remained 
behind. When this has been collected by a 
process I will hereafter describe, that which 
remains behind is called pizarao. It is an inert 
caput mortuum of stubborn sterility, which no 


process can afterwards endow with the principle 
of fertility ; so that, in washing ont the gold, 
all the riches of the soil were literally exhausted, 
and nothing left but a barren and utterly useless 

We visited a gentleman in the neighbourhood, 
whose house stood surrounded with lavras, or 
gold washings. The former proprietor had 
extracted from it such abundant stores of 
wealth, that he expended the sum of eight 
thousand crusados in building a house in the 
centre of it. His whole concern, with his 
splendid mansion, was afterwards sold for one 
thousand. It was purchased by the gentleman 
we visited. He wisely abandoned the pursuit 
of gold, and applied himself to the cultivation 
of the part the washings had left untouched, and 
soon converted it into a profitable farm, which 
yielded him a durable succession of wealth. 
He planted a large orchard and a garden, in 
which European fruits and vegetables grow 
luxuriantly, and around his house were fields 
of corn, waving a golden harvest of great 
beauty. His whole chacara displayed the vast 
superiority of extracting the vegetable, and 
not the metallic riches of the soil. It stands 
insulated in an immense tract, rendered sterile 
by the process of gold washing, and it looks 


like a green oasis in the midst of the red sands 
of the desert. 

The whole of the gold with which the soil 
is impregnated, is supposed to originate in the 
metalliferous ridges of rock which intersect 
the country. Here in its matrix the metal re- 
poses ; but the rains falling in impetuous torrents 
on their summits, and penetrating through 
their interior recesses, again ooze from their 
sides, carrying with them all the lighter par- 
ticles of the precious metal, as they pass 
through the veins, and finally deposit them 
in the soil below, through which they percolate. 

As the great auriferous repertory of the country 
now stood before me, I was curious to explore 
it, so we prepared to ascend the ridge. The 
general face of it was quite perpendicular, and 
we could no more attempt to climb the part 
opposite to us than Dover cliff; but about 
three miles to the north-east of the town, the 
ridge dips, and leaves a depression considerably 
lower than the rest, which is accessible. This 
had been rendered passible by a road, carried 
over it soon after S. Jose was built, but now 
so neglected that it is difficult to find. We 
had to struggle through thickets and underwood 
at the base of the ridge, and at length stumbled 
upon what appeared to have been once a grand 


road. It was laid down with broad flat stones, 
forming a kind of escala or stairs, up a very 
steep inclined plane, so difficult for horses to 
keep their feet on, that we thought it prudent 
to alight, and drag them up after us. After 
winding in a zigzag direction up the rocky face, 
we at length emerged on the summit, and here 
we saw in perfection the totally new feature 
of the Brazilian landscape, which we before 
had contemplated at a distance. In all our 
journey from Rio for more than two hundred 
miles, we had hardly seen a stone peeping 
through the soil. Here we stood upon an 
immense ridge of rocks, utterly denuded both 
of wood and grass, stretching their bare and 
rugged arms in all directions over the country, 
and forming a prospect strongly contrasted with 
any we had yet contemplated. This ridgy region, 
I was told, ramified through the country to an 
immense extent in a westerly direction, till it 
was lost in the Mato Grosso, or vast forests, 
which extend nearly to the Andes ; and these 
are the great metallic repositories, from whence 
the whole subjacent soil of the Minas Geraes 
is impregnated with gold. 

The summit of the ridge was by far the most 
wild and solitary we had seen in Brazil. It was 
generally composed of white sand, strewed with 


nodules of very bright and almost transparent 
quartz, from the decomposition of which the 
sand seemed to be formed. Piled up in great 
disorder were mounds of mica slate, and large 
masses of different strata were lying over each 
other, in an angle considerably inclined, as if 
they had slipped down in succession from some 
more elevated place. Towards S. Jose, the 
face of the ridge was a perpendicular precipice, 
five or six hundred feet high, for twelve or 
fourteen miles ; on the other side it descended 
in a more gradual slope, like a shed from a 
wall. On descending the slope, the first object 
we saw was a rude cross, on a bare rock, to 
intimate that a murder had been committed at 
the base of it ; and, certainly, no spot could 
be more wild and dismal, or better calculated 
for the purpose. One cause why the road over 
this pass was neglected was, that its wild soli- 
tude invited banditti, whose favourite haunt it 
became. Senhor Campos, the worthy sargente* 
mdr, had been attacked on this spot some time 
before. They stripped and robbed him, and 
were for some time deliberating whether they 
should not murder him ; but his character, it 
seems, had some weight even with banditti, 
and they dismissed him unhurt. A short time 
before our arrival, a man had been despatched 


with letters, which required haste, and he made 
his way across this ridge, as his shortest road ; 
he too was attacked here, and returned wounded 
to S. Jose. We, notwithstanding these pre- 
monitory warnings, pursued our way along 
the edge of a mountain torrent, till we de- 
scended with it to the Campos on the other 
side, from whence we returned, round one 
end of the serra, a circuitous route of nine 
or ten miles. The formation of this serra is 
generally of mica slate, and a modification of 
clay, talc, and chlorite slate. There is no gra- 
nite yet discovered here, but a league and a half 
on the western side are extensive tracts of it. 
The beta, or vein, is generally quartz, in which 
is found gold variously mixed with iron stone, 
magnetic and titaneous iron, ochre, tellurium, 
and pyrites, containing gold and silver. The 
serra extends about twelve miles from east 
to west. 

The following qualities are supposed to in- 
dicate the existence of metal. Waters impreg- 
nated with saline sulphates, particularly if they 
be warm, and have a mineral taste ; marcasites, 
or pieces of metal found in cavities of rocks, 
or the beds of rivers, running from them ; sterile 
soil, with scanty vegetation, and of a sickly hue, 
caused by metallic vapours from within ; the 


sun-beams strongly reflected from the face of 
the rock ; and mountains loudly reverberating 
a sound. All these qualities are observable, 
more or less, in the serra of S. Jose, particu- 
larly the two last. Wherever the sun-beams 
struck full on the face of the rock in certain 
positions, they were sent back with an almost 
dazzling reflection ; this, however, might arise 
from the lustre of the mica slate. But the 
reverberation of sound was very remarkable. 
We had every day, almost, a thunder-storm, 
and the repercussion from the face of the ridge 
was so loud, sharp, and distinct, that it seemed 
as if the hard stone was hit and broken by a 
number of sledges striking upon it ; and cer- 
tainly, if this symptom be any indication of 
metallic veins, it no where exists so strong as in 
the serra of S. Jose. 

In this serra it is that the General Mining 
Association are pursuing the precious metal 
by shafts, adits, and levels. Tradition has 
handed down a singular prophecy connected 
with this mountain, which the present gene- 
ration at S. Jose think is about to be ful- 
filled. The prophecy is, that a day will come 
when men from the east will cross the seas and 
arrive at S. Jose to dig under the serra, where 
they will discover immense riches. In the 


course of their operations, however, they will 
reach a subterraneous river, which, thus set free, 
will rush from its bed and overflow the town. 
The establishment of a company from England 
to mine in this serra, the people say, is the 
accomplishment of the first part of the prophecy ; 
the labours of the company, they add, will fulfil 
the second part ; and the old vigario tells them 
that the third part of the prediction will shortly 
come to pass, and that the river which is to 
overflow and ruin S. Jose, is the taste for luxury 
and dissipation, which these foreigners have 

For a long time, the only gold in the country 
was extracted from the clay, through which the 
rains from this ridge had filtered, leaving behind 
all the particles of the metal which they carried 
down. The first mines in the province were pits, 
called cata, opened by the workmen till they 
came to the cascalho, or gravel below. This 
w T as broken up with pickaxes, and the contents 
brought to the river and washed. They were 
therefore opened as near the banks as possible, 
and were generally called taboleiros, from 
the flat tabular surface over them. These 
primitive workings are every where to be 
seen, and have given names to places, as Catas 


The next improvement was to conduct a 
stream of water to ground known to be impreg- 
nated with the metal, and so wash it out 
on the spot, and these were called lavras : 
they are seen in abundance on the banks of 
the Rio das Mortes. 

The third and last was pursuing the metal 
into the rock itself, and this they attempted 
by opening superficial trenches, on the most 
horizontal surfaces, and pushing them on where 
they found any indication of gold. This they 
call talho alberto, or the open cut, and several 
of these remain in the serra towards S. Joao 
del Rey, about ten or twelve feet deep, ramify- 
ing in different directions, like the ravines of 
mountain torrents, which they resemble at first 
sight ; but this, however, also failed, as the 
Brazilians had neither skill nor capital to pro- 
ceed deeper, from the clumsiness and deficiency 
of their operations ; wheels to turn off the 
superfluous water were attempted, but so un- 
manageable that they were afterwards removed, 
and their place supplied with fifty or sixty ne- 
groes. I never saw a wheel in the country, or 
any means of abridging labour, even a cart or 
a barrow. Unfortunate slaves carry gravel or 
rubbish on their heads, in small awkward casks, 
and climb up steep ascents at great hazard, 



where a wheel and bucket, or an inclined plane, 
might save the greater part of the labour. 

About twenty years ago, it was imagined that 
the gold in Brazil was nearly exhausted, because 
the rivers and clay ceased to yield it in the 
;ame abundance as at first ; but it is generally 
supposed, that what has been found was merely 
some loose and detached superfluities of the 
metal, and that the great veins are unopened, 
which the Brazilians have never yet been able 
to come at. To invite others of more capa- 
bilities to explore these in the heart of the 
sterile rock, and leave uninjured the prolific 
soil of the country, and, while the natives were 
engaged in the pursuits of agriculture, to open 
the veins of their unproductive mountains to 
the skill and enterprise of foreigners, who would 
enhance the local value of every produce of the 
soil by their consumption, was the best and 
wisest policy the Brazilians could adopt, in the 
present state of their country. 

The immense quantity of gold derived from 
Brazil while under the dominion of Portugal, 
and produced from the very unskilful labours 
of private owners of mines, scattered over a 
very wide extent of country, by slaves breaking 
up and washing the mere surface of the soil 
with rude implements, gave vast ideas of its 


wealth to foreigners, who had been interdicted 
from interfering in it; but when the country 
was thrown open, and a quantity of unemployed 
capital was available in England, and was seek- 
ing how to engage itself in mining speculations, 
it was supposed that such a rich country, 
worked by the skill and wealth of a company 
formed in England, would produce the most 
valuable returns. 

The formation of such a mining company, 
however, was attended with a difficulty in this 
part of South America which did not exist 
elsewhere. Although, by the liberal decrees of 
Dom John VI. strangers were admitted, and 
sesmarias of land granted, it was supposed that 
such an innovation, as the interference of a 
foreign mining company, should not be tried 
without the separate sanction of the existing 
Brazilian government. Petitions were, there- 
fore, presented, praying that permission might 
be given for employing foreign capital, and 
foreign artisans, in mining speculations in 
different parts of the country. The object of 
the petitions was granted, and four decrees were 
issued by the imperial government, one for 
Espirito Santo, one for Mato Grosso, and two for 
the Minas Geraes, allowing persons in whose 
favour they were promulgated to possess lands 


and mines in Brazil, not only during the life-time 
of the grantees, but during the existence of the 
companies.* The decrees for Espirito Santo 
and Mato Grosso were not acted upon by the 
parties upon whom they were conferred. 

One of the decrees for Minas Geraes was in 
favour of Mr. Edward Oxenford, who afterwards 
transferred it to the Imperial Brazilian Mining 
Association, and the other for Mr. I. A. C. 
Leao, a native and gentleman of rank in the 
country. Many advantages resulted to a native 
which a foreigner could not enjoy ; he only paid 
twenty per cent, on all gold raised instead of 
twenty-five, and his operations might extend to 
any distance, and be directed to raising any 
kind of metal, instead of being restricted to two 
or three mines, and raising gold only. The 
grant, therefore, of Mr. Leao was purchased by 
the General Mining Association, who by these 
means were placed in his stead, and had all 
the privileges of natives. They thus were un- 
restricted in carrying on their works through 
the whole of the rich province of Minas Geraes, 
a country as large and a soil and climate as 
fertile and salubrious as those of England. 

* The duration of all foreign mining companies formed for Brazil 
since that period, has been, by decree dated the 12th of August, 1825, 
restricted to twenty years. 


A board of managing directors was established 
at Rio, consisting of two native and two English 
members, and one of the latter, Mr. Duval, 
proceeded to explore the country granted to 
them. He set out with a party of men under 
his orders, accompanied by a skilful miner, 
from the Hartz mountains, in Germany, and 
visited the whole of the rich district ; and the 
result of their examination was to establish 
themselves at S. Jose in the comarca of Rio 
das Mortes, supposed to have been the richest 
part of the province, and of which the natives 
made the most extraordinary report, confirmed 
by official documents from the government 

Having ascertained, as far as a superficial 
examination could go, the reality of those 
mineral riches yet existing below the surface, a 
contract was made by Mr. Duval with the owners 
of mines in the vicinity of S. Jose, securing 
to the company the working for thirty years, 
in a tract of country exceeding three leagues 
in extent ; and paying five per cent, on the 
gross produce, without binding the company to 
continue to work the mines longer, than they 
found it convenient. 

Having taken these preparatory precau- 
tions, Mr. Duval left Brazil and proceeded to 


Germany to engage a necessary number of 
miners from the Hartz, as they were as skilful 
as those of England, and might be employed on 
much more reasonable terms. They arrived 
in Rio in April, 1828, and proceeded to their 
destination at S. Jos£, where they immediately 
began their operations. 

It was stipulated that the sum of one hun- 
dred contos of reis, or about twenty thousand 
pounds, should be deposited, as a security for the 
duty on the gold raised ; but by the representa- 
tion of Mr. Duval, the condition of the decree 
was revoked, and this deposit was not exacted. 
Application was also made to have the per 
centage on the gold raised, reduced from 
twenty per cent, to five. In October, 1827, 
a decree passed, exempting the native miners 
from paying any more ; and foreigners have a 
right to expect the same indulgence, as it is 
stipulated in the treaty concluded in August, 
1827, between England and Brazil, that the 
subjects of both nations should only pay the 
same contributions as the natives of the coun- 
try in which they respectively reside. The 
result of this reasonable application is not yet 
known. There are now commenced at each 
side of the serra four mines, by shafts sunk 
in the rock, Rezenda, Luzia, Vincente, and 


Pacu; but there are fourteen or fifteen more 
lodes, which are known to be rich, but not yet 
in operation. At Luzia mine, a large stamping 
mill has been commenced, and is nearly com- 
pleted, of jacaranda and other hard woods of 
the country, and is exceedingly well executed 
by Brazilian artists. 

The gold of these mines is found in a matrix 
of hard quartz, often visible to the naked eye, 
but most frequently concealed in its combina- 
tion with iron pyrites. It is sometimes ob- 
tained by the simple process of blasting, 
pulverizing, and washing ; but much remains 
in the residue left after these operations, and 
which is extracted by the more scientific pro- 
cess of smelting and amalgamation. 

There is now a large quantity of ore raised 
from the different mines, waiting only for the 
completion of the stamping mill to extract the 
gold from it. Washing experiments, made to 
try the value of this ore, have yielded from 
3 to 8j oz. of gold per cubic foot, weighing 
about 110 lbs. After the gold had been thus 
extracted by the washing process, a residue 
ore is left, consisting of pyrites, which was 
proved by assays made in London, to contain 
gold in very considerable proportions. The pre- 
cious metal, however, being either chemically 


combined with the pyrites, or too minutely 
disseminated, can only be obtained from this 
residue, by smelting or amalgamation. Speci- 
mens sent to the smelting-house of S. Joao, 
of some of the gold produced, were said to be 
very rich, being of 23.3 carats. Indications 
of silver and copper are also found in these 
lodes. In the Rezenda mine, the gold is pure 
and native, without any mixture of pyrites. 
Tradition relates, that the original proprietor 
of this mine amassed a considerable fortune by 
its extraordinary production of gold ; and from 
being originally a man in embarrassed circum- 
stances, he left a considerable property among 
his descendants, who enjoy it at this day. But 
while he was pursuing his career, a portion 
of the serra, near which he was working, gave 
way, and buried under it a quantity of ore 
already raised, and the workmen who were 
raising it. Large fragments of the rock are 
still to be seen where they rolled down ; and 
until the General Mining Association canie, no 
one had enterprise enough to endeavour to 
remove them, and get at the riches they are 
said to cover. The company have here about a 
dozen German miners, and they employ in their 
operations above one hundred persons. The 
whole under the direction of Mr. Milward. 


The Brazilians, however, though they have 
generally abandoned their golden speculations, 
yet still continue in some places to wash the 
soil, and we were invited to the conclusion of 
their workings, and what might be called the 
harvest home of the golden crop, which con- 
veyed an excellent idea of the manner in which 
it was formerly collected all over this country. 
Jose Esteves de Sao Francisco, a gentleman 
who had been a captain in the Brazilian service, 
owned a large tract of land lying half way 
between S. Jose and S. Joao. Instead of di- 
recting his attention to improve the soil above, 
he, like his ancestors, preferred searching for 
gold below. He was the proprietor of about 
seventy slaves, who were all engaged, more or 
less, in collecting the precious metal. The pro- 
cess was as follows : for several months they 
had been cutting down the clay from the sides 
of a slope on which his property lay. Under 
the immediate soil they came to the substance 
called cascalho. This they washed, and re- 
serving the finer parts, rejected the coarser 
gravel, which lay in large heaps in every part 
about the fazenda. The soil was susceptible of 
several washings. He had the year before ex- 
tracted gold from the upper surface ; this year 
from the stratum below ; and the next he 


proposed to undertake a stratum still lower. 
The collection of several months was now 
thrown together, waiting for the last washing, 
and we were invited to be present at it. 

We went about two o'clock, and were re- 
ceived at his house by his son-in-law, who en- 
tertained us with cool cups of sugar dissolved 
in claret with a little water; and from hence 
we ascended the side of the hill to the washing. 
We found a calico tent pitched, open in front, 
with seats inside ; and here, protected from the 
sun, we sat, and the process commenced. At 
the bottom of a very long, shallow and sloping 
trench, with a flat floor and perpendicular 
sides, were laid green grass sods. On some 
occasions, English blankets have been used ; 
and on others, hides, with the hair uppermost : 
but sods were found, from experience, to be the 
best. The practice of using them, originated 
in the direction afforded by nature herself. 
The mines of Potosi were discovered by a 
Spaniard, who in ascending the mountain, 
seized a bush to assist him ; and this giving 
way, he found the root embossed with par- 
ticles of silver. A similar circumstance is told 
of gold in this province. The first Paulistas 
pulled up tufts of grass in the same manner, 
and found numerous particles of gold entangled 


in the roots ; and the first washings in search 
of the metal, were from the roots of the herbage 
at the base of the hills. 

At the head of the trench was a large water- 
course. The former collections from the cas- 
calho were placed here, and the water being 
turned through it, it dissolved the mass, and 
carried down the whole of it. The lighter 
parts were borne away, but the heavier sub- 
sided into the grass, which entangled the par- 
ticles of gold; and so it was in the state in 
which it was first found in the country — when 
by a similar process it was washed down from 
the auriferous serras : the leaves and roots of 
the grass we saw, were covered with a yellow 
and black deposit ; the first gold dust, the latter 
esmeril or oxyde of iron, a substance which 
always accompanies it. Beside the long trench 
was a pool, in which stood eight or ten ne- 
groes, each holding in his hand a round flat dish. 
These dishes are of three sizes and names. 
The first a gamella, a very capacious bowl, 
eight or nine feet in circumference, made from 
the trunk of a large tree, called for that reason 
gamelleiro — it is the Brazilian fig.* This bowl 
was hemispherical. The second was much 

* Ficus insipida. 


smaller, made of the same tree, and called 
carumbeia. The third, called batea, of a size 
between both, formed the shape of a flat cone, 
the concave surface terminating in a hollow 
point in the centre. These had all their se- 
veral uses in collecting the gold. 

A quantity of the impregnated sods were raised 
in the gamella by negro boys, and set down 
before the men in the pool. They took a portion 
of them, and laying it in the carumbeia, they 
dipped it in the water, turning it dexterously 
from side to side, and separating the leaves and 
fibres of the grass, which were carried away by 
the water, with the lighter parts of the clay, and 
in a short time nothing remained but the gold 
and esmeril at the bottom, exhibiting clouded 
shades of black and yellow. When a quantity 
of this impure mixture was thus collected, it 
was laid in the batea, and here it was dex- 
terously moved from side to side, in a constant 
ablution of fresh water, till the esmeril also 
passed off, and the heavier gold dust remained 
alone in the point of the cone. The whole of 
this was finally deposited in a large copper 
skillet, placed over a fire on the spot, and 
stirred till all the water evaporated, and nothing 
remained but dry gold-dust, in general of exceed- 
ingly minute particles, but frequently appearing 


in small globules, some as large as a grain of 
small shot. In this state a magnet was passed 
through it, to which the particles of iron still 
mixed with the gold adhered; and this was 
continued till the whole was abstracted. 

Sometimes a more scientific process is re- 
sorted to. The mixture of dust is put into a 
bowl, and two ounces of mercury added to two 
pounds of gold and oxyde. This mass is worked 
by the hand into a dough, when the mercury takes 
up the gold only, which is merely entangled, but 
not amalgamated, with it. It is then put into a 
cloth, and a portion of the mercury squeezed 
out ; the remainder is set in a brass vessel over 
a fire, and covered with green leaves, which are 
removed as they become parched. They ex- 
hibit small globules of the sublimed mercury on 
the surface. What remains in the vessel is pure 
gold, changed in colour to a dull white. 

Gold in Brazil is of various colours, and the 
places near which it is found, are called by the 
same names ; Ouro Preto, black gold ; and Ouro 
Branco, white gold ; the first contains an alloy 
of silver, which acquires a brown tarnish by 
oxydation when exposed to the air, and hence 
called black gold. It is also a peculiarity of the 
gold of this region, that it is generally attended 
with iron from iron mica slate. In European 


mines, I believe, this substance frequently occurs 
in quartz, but is never accompanied by gold. 
In all the gold-washings here, the great con- 
comitant metal is this esmeril or magnetic iron. 
Through several streams of the country, where 
gold had been searched for, I found fine strata of 
this black substance, which I at first took for 
sand, but learned that it was the iron rejected 
and left behind, when the gold had been 

During the process here, several other ex- 
traneous bodies were found, such as grains of 
shot, slugs of lead, and among the rest, a 
female's gold ear-ring. It was conjectured, that 
the person to whom it had belonged was mur- 
dered in this solitary place, where, in process of 
time, the body had dissolved, and the more per- 
manent and enduring substance had alone 
remained, and was carried down by some cur- 
rent of water. 

The quantity collected at this harvest-home, 
was about four pounds of gold, which, at 4/. 
the ounce, would give 200/. sterling. This was 
apparently a rich, but in reality, a very unpro- 
fitable and ruinous mode of farming. The 
proprietor had seven or eight blacks, daily 
employed for three hundred days, collecting the 
cascalho, whom he first bought and then fed, 


clothed,, and supported, which left in the end 
but little or no real profit. But by far the 
most injurious effect, was that produced on his 
farm. As we passed through it, for several 
hundred acres, every thing green had disap- 
peared, and left behind a red desert, of the most 
irksome and barren aspect, on which nothing 
would hereafter be found to grow in any given 
period, as no new soil is formed, and the old 
workings appear as recent as those from which 
the vegetable mould had been washed but 
yesterday ; and thus, in extracting the gold from 
his farm, he had extracted along with it every 
particle of productive riches also. 

This factitious sterility was strongly con- 
trasted with the natural richness of the soil, 
which every where along the confines of the 
red desert was green, and vegetation flourishing. 
Where land is of such little value and popula- 
tion so scanty, this is not at present of such 
consequence ; but the time will come, when the 
increase of people will cause it to be a subject 
of deep regret, that their ancestors, by any 
avaricious process, had cursed the ground which 
God had blessed, and had entailed hopeless 
barrenness on tracts, which the bounty of Pro- 
vidence had created, with a capability of pro- 
viding abundance of food. The extent of the 


mischief will be apparent, by considering, that 
there are sixty-six districts in the province 
where this process is still going on over con- 
siderable tracts of land, and generally the most 
fertile, as they are chosen on the banks of 

Desirous to bring with me some specimens of 
gold in its pure native state, with the metals 
associated with it, I proposed to purchase a 
small portion of the gold dust, before it had un- 
dergone the last process of depuration. Captain 
E steves sent me a packet made up, containing 
about one ounce, for which he would not receive 
the smallest compensation. 

The town of S. Joao d'el Rey, distant about 
eight miles from S. Jose, had been also cele- 
brated for the quantity of gold it produced, 
particularly in a pit, of which tradition handed 
down the most extraordinary stories; and this 
I wished to see. There was, moreover, a phy- 
sician settled there from the United States, and, 
we were informed, he was dying, and wished for 
the attendance of a clergyman of the reformed 
faith ; so on the next day we set out for S. 
Joao. Our road lay round the end of the serra, 
and partly along the other side. We passed 
several small lakes, on the banks of which were 
heaps of round quartz pebbles, which had been 


dragged from the bottom, washed for gold, and 
then left on the banks ; and from the immense 
quantity of these, we conjectured that the search 
for and finding of gold were formerly very exten- 
sive in this spot. In some places were large stones 
beside small streams, hollow on the surface ; on 
these a few of the pebbles had been broken, 
and any grains within taken out ; but a consider- 
able quantity yet remained, and, if stamped, 
would probably yield abundance. In fact, gold- 
finding seems to have been the great end and 
occupation of all the people here ; so that it is 
interwoven with the habits and feelings of the 
very children. We met several pounding these 
pebbles on the hollow stones, surrounded by 
young groups, who were watching the process 
anxiously, to see what the inside of every pebble 
would produce. 

Immediately above the lake, the banks all 
round were furrowed with lavras, and on some 
ledges of rocks at a little distance, we perceived 
an approximation to more difficult and scientific 
mining ; shallow excavations were made in the 
rock, ramifying in all directions over its surface, 
and the veins of quartz, forming the matrix of the 
metal, pursued wherever it had appeared, so that 
the rock was seamed all over with those trenches 
eight or nine feet deep, and the nodules of the 

vol. n. K 


matrix strewed about. This was their improved 
process, called the talho alberto, of which this 
place affords a perfect specimen. They never 
penetrated, however, out of the light, and when 
a vein dipped, it was immediately abandoned, 
and given up as a thing altogether beyond the 
reach of human pursuit. 

At the time the English companies were 
formed, the generality of the inhabitants of Rio 
considered that the speculators were about to 
bury their capital in an unprofitable and hope- 
less pursuit, and, what is more extraordinary 
still, this opinion was entertained by many in 
the province itself, and in the very neighbour- 
hood of the richest mines. They could not 
comprehend what could induce the English to 
come and mine in Brazil. A Brazilian called 
on my friend, Mr. Duval, shortly after his arrival 
at Rio, to entreat him to disclose by the aid of 
what wonderful instrument he would be enabled 
to discover where the gold lay under the ground 
without having to dig for it. Was it a glass 
to see through the soil, or an iron possessing 
some magic power to indicate the presence of 
the precious metal ? Without some such assist- 
ance he was sure the English would not be such 
fools as to embark in a pursuit, which they on 
the spot could not render profitable ! 


In the province itself the people entertained 
some such ideas, of the summary and almost 
magical processes the English were to apply, 
to bring to light treasures which the Brazilians 
could not reach. Machines, they thought, would 
convey a river from a plain to the top of a 
mountain, and perform other wonders of a like 
miraculous nature. 

We now came to a stratum of sand which 
dazzled us with the reflection of the sun as we 
approached. This we found was a bed of rock 
crystal, of which we collected some fine speci- 
mens which lay scattered about ; and from this 
place the Serra do Lenheiro opened upon us, 
extending like that of S. Jose, in rude ridges of 
bare perpendicular rocks, but more scattered 
and irregular, and in about an hour we arrived 
at the bridge which crosses the Rio das Mortes. 
It was a long crazy frame of wood, gravelled on 
the flooring, and covered over with a roof or shed 
the whole way. The tolls on it were enormous 
for this place — a patac for a man and horse. 
The river was here about sixty yards broad, dis- 
coloured with red mud, held in suspension from 
the pisarao washed into it in gold searching. 

About a mile at the other side, we passed 
through the arrayal or village of Matozinhos. It 
consisted of a long ornamented church standing 



in the middle of a large green, with rows of 
neat whitewashed houses, running down at each 
side, forming a very wide street. The dark and 
rich verdure of the swards between the white 
edifices, gave the village a very neat and pastoral 
appearance. This place once contained an ex- 
tensive gold mine. To intercept the particles 
of gold brought down by a mountain stream, 
a mound was run across a ravine ; but the 
architect not calculating the pressure of the 
accumulated water, after a rainy season, it gave 
way, and the expensive mound and all the 
treasures within it disappeared in one night. 
Beyond this was the Rio Limpo, forming, with 
its pure stream running over its pebbly bed, 
a strong contrast to the red mud river we had 
passed ; and having crossed it at a wide and 
shallow ford, we arrived at S. Joao d'el Rey. 

This celebrated city, the capital of the co- 
marca of Rio das Mortes, was built about the 
same time as S. Jose, and was another specu- 
lation of the gold-searchers in this country. It 
was first called after the Rio das Mortes, from 
the banks of which it is distant about two miles ; 
but in 1712, its name was changed, and John 
V, conferred upon it his own. It stands at 
the foot of the Serra do Lenheiro, or wood- 
cutter's hill, who have scarcely left a bush to 





& s 



cover its naked surface ; it is divided in two 
by a branch of the Rio Limpo, which we had 
crossed. The communication between both 
parts is carried on by two stone bridges, at 
each end of the town. It consists of several 
steep streets, running up the hills at each side, 
crossed by others more level, as they are parallel 
to the river. The streets are paved with round 
flint stones, having generally a flagged raised 
way at each side. The greater part of the 
houses are shops, which are neatly kept and 
well filled with articles of different manufac- 
ture, particularly hard-ware and cotton goods 
from England. Bales of coarse cotton, and 
coarse felt hats, made in the province, and 
other articles of the industry of the Minas Ge- 
raes, were also piled up, and the whole had the 
appearance of a thriving and opulent town. 

Among the articles for sale, were very large 
quantities of salt, in bags laid outside the 
shop doors. The whole is brought from Rio, 
and we met many more troops of mules laden 
with this article, than with any other. Though 
so essential to the health of all animals, the 
Brazilians had nearly learned to do without 
it; it was not brought to us, unless we 
particularly called for it, and then a small 
quantity was produced on a plate, or in a spoon , 


generally wetted, and nearly in a state of solu- 
tion. European cattle frequently languish and 
die for the want of it ; and so eager are they 
to taste it, that we always observed them come 
round the ranchos where bags of salt had been 
laid, and lick the ground, till it became furrowed 
like the bone-licks in North America. I re- 
marked that the cattle in the streets of S. Joao, 
stopped at the shop doors for the same purpose. 

The inhabitants of this town had been cal- 
culated at 10,000, but it is not so populous. 
It contains, by the best information, about 
7,000. It is, however, every day increasing. 
It is so well calculated for communication, that 
notwithstanding its inland site, the Marquez de 
Pombal once conceived the idea of making it 
the capital of Brazil. It has seven churches 
and two convents, the chapel of one of which 
is the finest in the province. It has, besides, 
an excellent hospital, which is spacious, and 
very clean, and well kept. 

The circumstance that once gave great cele- 
brity to it, was the exceeding richness of the 
Serra do Lenheiro, which overhangs it, in mi- 
neral productions ; and a mine at the head of, 
or rather in the town itself, is at this day 
celebrated. It is nothing more than a deep 
pit or quarry, at the termination of a ravine, 


which runs from the side of the serra. All 
the currents passing down the ravine are col- 
lected in this pit ; and several artificial cuts, 
made at different times, lead thither other 
streamlets. It is thus, by nature and art, a 
kind of focus, in which the auriferous waters, 
running from the serra, centre, and the common 
reservoir of all the particles of gold, detached 
from their matrix, and brought down by the tor- 
rents. After rain, the inhabitants of the town 
resorted to this pit. the sand and pebbles were 
raised and washed, and such quantities of gold 
extracted from it, as to give to the people of 
Europe an idea, that it was the real country 
of El Dorado ; but its riches, perhaps, are as 
imaginary as those of that unascertained being ; 
for they had no means of entirely emptying the 
pit, as the water continually accumulated there, 
notwithstanding all their efforts to exhaust it, 
by some subterraneous communication ; and 
a deep pool yet remains in the centre, which 
has never been explored, and which fancy has 
filled with exhaustless treasures. 

When I climbed up the town, to visit this 
celebrated reservoir, the water was condensed 
into a muddy pool, at the bottom of the quarry, 
fifty or sixty yards in circumference, and ten 
or twelve yards below the lower edge. Arti- 


ficial steps had been made in the higher parts, 
to facilitate the descent into sundry cavities, 
and little reservoirs. Above, the face of the rock 
was a whitish sand-stone, mixed with pyrites, 
and the sides descended, in many places, steep 
and perpendicular. Several parties of the citi- 
zens, and their families, were reclining on the 
ledges of the rocks about, and seemed looking 
down over the edge, into the pit below, and 
contemplating, with wistful eyes, the treasures 
shut up in the deep bottom of the muddy and 
inaccessible reservoir. This quarry of gold had 
been purchased from the proprietors, I was 
informed, some years before, by an English 
speculator, for 300/., who intended to draw 
off the water into the bed of the river below, 
and possess himself of treasures, which the Bra- 
zilians had not skill to come at, if such are to 
be found. 

The above account of this mine I heard from 
some of the inhabitants, but hearsay tradition 
is always uncertain, and no where more than 
in this country, particularly as to facts con- 
nected with mining. There is something in 
the search of gold, which, while it debases the 
mind, exalts the imagination, and the most 
extravagant and visionary tales are caught at 
and credited. 


We now paid a visit to Dr. Byrde, the gen- 
tleman who was sick, and we were glad to find 
him wonderfully recovered from an indisposition 
he had supposed would have been mortal. The 
idea of dying in a remote place, among stran- 
gers to his language and his religious belief, 
and among whom, he apprehended, he would 
not be allowed the rites of christian burial in 
consecrated ground, had preyed on his spirits. 
He was, however, now so recovered, that 
instead of his talking of his funeral, he hospitably 
entertained us at dinner, and we took leave 
of him in good spirits. 

The ouvidor, or presiding judge of S. Joao, 
and the district of Rio das Mortes, was a 
gentleman of the name of Aureliano de Sousa, 
to whom I had letters of introduction from 
friends in Rio, and I paid another visit to S. 
Joao to see him. He lived in the government 
house, on a fine elevation, at the entrance to 
the town. It is large and striking in its ex- 
terior, but being a government concern, it was 
neglected and out of repair. The ouvidor 
was a very good looking young man, robust, 
with dark hair and eyes, with a handsome in- 
telligent face, and altogether a good specimen 
of a Brazilian country gentleman. He had 
studied at the University of Coimbra, and his 


acquirements were respectable. He read and 
spoke English, but preferred French, as the 
language of our conversation. I was accom- 
panied by my friend, Mr. Milward, and he 
received us very cordially, and with pleasure 
and promptitude informed us on every subject 
we inquired about. 

In every comarca of the province of the 
Minas Geraes, there is a caza de fundacao, a 
registry and smelting-house, with fifteen officers 
attached ; to which all the gold raised must 
be sent, assayed, and the duty paid, before it 
can be transmitted out of the province. That 
for the comarca of Rio das Mortes was esta- 
blished in S. Joao, and within the precincts of 
the government residence, and I wished to see 
it ; so he at once ordered the keys, and came 
with us. We first entered a large apartment, 
in which was a raised table, with forms round 
it, and a kind of elevated throne at the end 
of the table, with scales before it. Here, all 
the gold-dust found in the comarca is weighed, 
and the escrivao, or secretary, lays by a fifth 
part for the emperor. Out of the end wall 
was a gigantic arm, with an immense scale 
suspended from it. This, we supposed, was 
also for weighing gold, and we had an high 
idea of the vast quantity. We found, however, 


it was for the copper coins which are sent here, 
in payment of contributions, and transmitted 
to the treasury at Rio. 

We then passed into the smelting-house. 
Here were two furnaces, with their proper cru- 
cibles. A quantity of dust and grains is put 
in, with a proportion of muriate of mercury, 
of which a large bowl stood by, and we were 
warned not to touch it. When the metal is 
fused with the flux, it is run into iron troughs, 
of various sizes, forming ingots, from ten oitaves, 
to an arroba, or thirty-two pounds. The fuel 
used is charcoal, and they are very particular 
in selecting the wood. That which is hardest 
is best, in the following order — jacaranda, 
eruera, bruena, and candeia. All the charcoal 
used in smelting is carefully laid by in a covered 
receptacle, under each furnace, to be burnt 
again, to extract any particles of the precious 
metal it might have imbibed. The more impure 
the gold, the more refractory it is, and requires 
a greater proportion of flux of muriate of mer- 
cury. Very pure gold runs in three hours. 
Some iron-stone, found near the town, and tried 
here, yielded ninety per cent. Specimens of 
arsenic and magnesia were also sent from the 

The next room was that of the ensayador, or 


assay er, who determines the weight and fineness 
of each bar. Gold, from well-known mines, is 
tried merely by the touch-stone, for which pur- 
pose a large one, with a convex back, like a 
pincushion, is kept, and it was marked with 
various shades. These marks are produced by 
little bars of gold, united to copper pins with 
bevil points. Each pin is impressed with the 
number of carats of the gold on its point, from 
16 up to 24. Some of the gold found in the 
comarca was so fine as 23.3. and 23.4, which 
last was from a specimen from the mine of 
Pacu at S. Jose. Finally the bar is stamped 
with an impression forming the crown of Brazil, 
the fineness of the gold, the weight, and other 
particulars. It is then handed to the proprietor, 
who may, after this, negotiate it and send it 
where he pleases. All gold must pass through 
this process. A proprietor may keep it at home 
as long as he finds it convenient, but if he 
attempts to take or send it out of the province, 
it is liable to seizure and forfeiture, 

The duty paid by natives, was formerly twenty 
per cent., but by the exertions of the deputy 
Vasconcellos, it was reduced to five. Wish- 
ing to ascertain the quantity entered for the 
last year, the ouvidor, who did not seem to 
make a mystery or concealment of any thing, 


had the registry brought, and we found one 
hundred and thirty entries had been made 
of gold from different proprietors. The quan- 
tity of each raised was from one up to thirteen 
marcos of eight ounces each, which taking the 
average of five, would give 5,200 ounces of gold 
found in the Comarca of Rio das Mortes in the 
year 1828, and this, at 4/. per ounce, would 
amount to 20,800/. worth of gold, sent to be 
smelted and assayed, besides a considerably 
larger quantity, perhaps, smuggled or not 
brought in. 

After this inspection, we proceeded to the 
library lately established in the town. This is 
kept in an apartment in the camera, or town- 
hall, and is open from nine to one. The 
librarian is a mulatto padre, a very extra- 
ordinary man in his appearance ; low, fat, 
with a large cocked hat, and his singular face 
buried in his breast. Besides being librarian, 
he is editor of the Astro de Minas, a newspaper 
established about a year ago at S. Joao. As it 
is a very spirited and rather a violent constitu- 
tional paper, it is always committed with the 
Analista and other ministerial journals. In one 
of the Analistas I saw at Rio, was a curious de- 
scription of an extraordinary animal found at 
S. Joao, of the tatu or armadillo species, and the 


padre was depicted both morally and physically 
under the shape of an armadillo, with much 
humour and spirit. I was curious to see the 
original, and I thought the portrait an excellent 
likeness, for really the librarian in every respect 
resembled a " hog in armour." He is, however, 
a man of talent, and retorted on his adversary 
with great effect. He spoke a little French, and 
very obligingly communicated all he knew. 

The books of this infant establishment in the 
mountains of Brazil, where, till lately, all kinds 
of knowledge was inhibited, consisted of about 
1000 volumes, ranged round a neat apartment, 
having a reading table in the centre. Besides 
Portuguese and Spanish, there was a large 
proportion of French ; the Encyclopedic, Vol- 
taire's, Rousseau's, and Raynel's works, with 
many which appeared in the early part of the 
French Revolution. But we were surprised to 
find in so remote a place a number of English 
books. Among them were the Revolutionary 
Plutarch ; Smith's Wealth of Nations ; Pinker- 
ton's Geography ; Paradise Lost ; Sentimental 
Journey ; Trials for Adultery, with some of the 
periodicals ; and among the newspapers, we saw 
the Times and the Chronicle. We found there 
were three persons in the town, and members of 
the library, who spoke English, and more who 


could read it, and were making a progress in the 
language. Besides these, all the journals pub- 
lished in Brazil are received and filed in the 

This library is but an appendage to a poly- 
technic society, which they wish to establish 
here, and our friend the ouvidor, who was its 
founder, drew up a plan which has two objects ; 
to form a gymnasio literario, where knowledge 
may be elicited by investigation and debate, and 
the conflict of mutual light and intelligence ; 
and a gabineto d'estudos, to extract from 
various literary publications of different nations, 
such information as would be new in Brazil, 
reduce it to a portable size, and so publish 
periodically all the various lights and discoveries 
of Europe in the language of the country, for 
the instruction of the people. This prospectus 
was sent for the information and approbation of 
government, but no answer was returned ; and 
it was generally apprehended that both the 
society and the library would be discouraged. 

Its members comprise persons of consequence 
and intelligence in the neighbourhood, and 
among them a fine spirited young man, Batista 
Caetano, whom we met on the road, who brought 
the first printing-press ever seen in the Minas to 
S. Joao, and established the Astro de Minas. 


We returned to dine with the ouvidor, who 
entertained us in a very kind and unaffected 
manner. The menage of a Brazilian gentle- 
man, however, is not laid out to entertain 
strangers, and its appointments are not very 
elegant. From the contrast they see in Eu- 
ropean entertainment, they are pained at their 
own deficiency. But though the chief magis- 
trate's table was not splendid, it was plentiful ; 
and the affectionate cordiality of his manner 
was quite delightful. We had no salt at table, 
and he was rather surprised when we asked 
for it ; but he had excellent pao de trigo, or 
wheaten bread. Wheat is now grown in con- 
siderable quantities in the comarca, at a few 
leagues distance. Every thing was good and 
comfortable ; but he more than once apolo- 
gized, by saying he was a single man ; and after 
dwelling on the comfortless state of such a life, 
he said with great naivete, " Well, indeed, I 
can live so no longer, and so I am going to 
take a wife ; " and in fact he was betrothed to 
a young lady just twelve years old, and was to 
be married in a short time. As he was just 
elected a member of the chamber of deputies, 
he said he wished he could visit England to 
take a lesson from our house of commons, how 
he should conduct himself in his own. He 


acknowledged, with unaffected diffidence, his 
great deficiency; and he requested me to write 
to him, and inform him on every subject which 
might strike me, as connected with the know- 
ledge or improvement of the country. After 
coffee, we departed from our kind host, with 
sincere feelings of good-will on all sides. 

This gentleman was a good specimen of his 
class in Brazil ; simple, independent, and hos- 
pitable, knowing the defects of his country, 
and anxious to gain information and knowledge 
which could be useful ; and for that reason, a 
friend to strangers who might impart them. 
On my return to Rio, I availed myself of an 
opportunity of sending some English books 
for his library at S. Joao, and accompanied 
them with a letter, containing some free re- 
marks on the state of the country. He took 
them in such good part, that he translated the 
letter himself into Portuguese, and sent it to 
the Astro de Minas, through which it was 
circulated all over Brazil. 

This town is considered, next to St. Paul's, 
the most spirited and liberal in Brazil. The 
inhabitants are, generally speaking, the most 
intelligent. They entered with enthusiasm 
into the different measures successively adopted 
for the independence of the country ; and 



they are now sincere and firm supporters of 
the constitutional system, against the oppo- 
site extremes of anarchy and despotic power. 
They complain, however, bitterly, of an act 
which has affected the happiness and welfare 
of almost every family in the neighbourhood, 
and that of S. Jose\ 

It is a usual practice in Brazil, for young men 
to assemble, armed, on festival days ; particu- 
larly on that of Corpus Christi, which is held 
the highest in the calendar. In June, 1826, 
about eighty persons paraded for the purpose, 
with their officers, on the green of S. Jos6 : 
and after the ceremony and procession, they 
were marched to the camera, where their arms 
were deposited, and they were dismissed. But 
instead of being suffered to return home, they 
were surrounded by a troop of cavalry ; every 
man was seized, and they were given to un- 
derstand that they were enrolled as soldiers. 
Some were refractory, but they were treated 
with great severity, and put in irons as mu- 
tineers. Others requested permission to return 
home, even in company with their guard, to 
apprise their friends and arrange their affairs. 
But even this was not permitted ; they were all 
marched out of town, and sent off to the armies. 
This, I am told, was practised simultaneously 


in most of the towns of the Minas Geraes. 
The whole of the young men who attended 
the festivals were seized, and sent out of the 
province, to which they never returned. 

On the next year, the muster at S. Jose was 
very scanty — not more than half the usual 
number attended ; but those who did were 
treated in the same manner — all arrested and 
sent off, and were never seen again. Among 
them were several cases of great distress. One 
was that of a widow who had five sons living 
with her in considerable comfort : three of them 
were seized on the first occasion, and the re- 
maining two on the last. The poor woman 
earnestly requested the officer to permit one, 
at least, to stay at home to protect her 
and provide for her support, but he was inex- 
orable. In her distress she immediately applied 
to Senhor Campos, the sargente mor of S. Jose, 
who is a kind of refuge to all the afflicted in 
that district. He lost no time in demanding 
the restoration of one of the widow's sons ; but 
the officer still refused to liberate him. He 
therefore drew up a strong representation of 
the transaction, which he was about to send 
off to the emperor himself; and the officer, 
alarmed at the exposure of so much oppression, 
liberated the young man — all the rest perished. 


In the year 1828, five or six months before 
my visit, they attempted again to practise this 
outrage on the few young men that remained, 
and entirely drain the country — but they were 
grown wiser ; the whole corps who assembled at 
the last festival of Corpus Christi, at S. Jose, 
was a lieutenant and a corporal. 

The pretext for these extraordinary and most 
oppressive acts, was the necessities of the army ; 
to supply men for which, it was found in- 
dispensable to resort to this mode of con- 
scription. If so, it is only another proof of 
the baneful effects of the miserable warfare, 
in which the country was engaged with its 
neighbours. But the people of the Minas 
Geraes assign for it an ulterior cause, and 
affirm that it was intended to depopulate a 
province, whose free and independent spirit 
it is thought advisable to subdue. Whatever 
was its cause, its effects are most deplorable. 
Though the war had ceased, not one of the 
young men had returned to S. Jose. Almost 
the whole of the rising white population has 
been torn away from the province ; and either 
on the roads, or in the towns, we scarcely 
met a young man who was not a black or a 
mulatto slave. 

The abstraction of its people in this way, 


from any country, would be a serious and 
deplorable calamity ; but in Brazil, where every 
white man is invaluable either as a free agri- 
culturalist, or as a counterpoise to the fearful 
ascendency of the black population, the evil is 
almost irreparable, and the oppression of the 
act only equalled by its folly. 

As it was Christmas, and festival time, my 
host thought it right to invite the respectable 
gentlemen of the vicinity ; and in this way 
keep up that feeling of harmony and good-will, 
which it is most desirable to establish between 
strangers and natives. The people of the 
Minas are well disposed to this ; they readily 
and with pleasure accept invitations, but they 
do not return them, not from a mean or parsi- 
monious spirit ; but here, as in other parts of 
the country, their domestic establishments are 
so ill provided, that they are reluctant to expose 
them to strangers. On this day, were invited a 
number of gentlemen who had all some military 
rank, from colonel down to sargente" mor, as 
belonging to some corps. There are three in 
the district : the cavalry, into which blacks are 
never admitted, the regular infantry, and the 
ordenanca, a kind of gendarmes, principally 
employed in arresting fugitive slaves. The 
capitao mor and sargente mor are the chief 


officers of this corps. The company were men 
of very simple manners, plain, unaffected and 
good-natured, and entirely unacquainted with 
the usages of other places. 

Among the dishes at table was roast mutton. 
The extraordinary prejudice against this meat 
exists as strongly in this district as elsewhere. 
Sheep were to be found here, but they made 
no other use of them than shearing them ; and 
they turned away from their flesh with the same 
repugnance, that Europeans would feel if dogs, 
cats, or any other unclean animals were set 
before them. This prejudice Mr. Duval en- 
deavoured to remove on the first arrival of the 
English. He procured some sheep, fattened 
them well, invited the people to dine with him, 
and placed before them mutton cooked after 
the English fashion ; he induced them with 
some difficulty to taste it, and admit that it was 
not altogether unpalatable food. On this occa- 
sion, however, I did not see that any of them 
eat it, though it was something gained over 
their repugnance, that they could sit at table 
with it and help others to it. The extraordinary 
use made of it on the shores of the Rio de 
la Plata, I heard here also. 

Some of the party had never seen or tasted 
champagne before, and when it was sent about 


they called it cerveja, beer, and actually drank 
it as such, till convinced that it was something 
else, by its effects on them. With cider they 
were equally unacquainted, but they were not 
equally partial to it. We gave as a toast, 
" Prosperity to S. Jose," and they all stood up 
with animation and cried out " Viva, viva ! " 
They also drank with great good-will, " A close 
and cordial amity between England and Brazil." 
Among the company was a tenente colonel, 
Joao Nepomusceno, who, though still in middle 
life, had all the appearance of a man in a state 
of premature decay : his countenance sallow 
and emaciated, his hair in scanty patches, and 
his limbs trembling and infirm. It was evident 
some extraordinary cause had occasioned this ; 
I inquired what it was, and I was informed. He 
had a female slave, who for some real or sup- 
posed injury, or in the hope of obtaining her 
freedom at his death, determined to destroy 
him and his family, which consisted of a wife 
and child. To this end she procured from her 
husband the root of a plant producing a poison, 
known only to the people of her nation ; she 
administered it first to the domestic animals, to 
try its efficacy, and when it produced on them 
its deadly effects, she gave it to the rest of the 
family. His child died in a few hours, and he 


himself scarcely survived, but still bears about 
him the deleterious effects of the dose. The 
woman who perpetrated this, was executed, you 
suppose, and her punishment accompanied with 
all the execration such an act naturally excited. 
No such thing. A slave in Brazil is not always 
amenable to the laws ; as far as relates to him, 
they neither protect nor punish. He is only 
a species of property, and the rights of the 
owner are paramount to those of justice. Her 
master sold her to another, who did not hesitate 
to buy her, and with the money raised by her 
sale, he was enabled to purchase the fazenda 
I described to you. The diseased appearance 
of this desolate man, whose family had been 
swept away in a few hours, and the knowledge 
that the perpetrator was only transferred to 
another house and suffered to live to execute 
again the same atrocity, is one of those fearful 
evils which could not take place except where 
slavery exists ; and the selfish feeling that our 
fellow-creature is part of our property, oblite- 
rates the sense of his moral responsibility. 

Another of the company was a gentleman, 
whose family exhibited a trait of a very different 
kind. He was the commander of the corps of 
young men, who had been kidnapped at the 
festival of Corpus Christi. He now lives with a 


family of grandchildren, exceedingly pretty and 
interesting little creatures. Their mother, his 
daughter, was married to a young man, who held 
a situation under government at Rio. He was 
an excellent person, and she was passionately 
attached to him, and had a young family of five 
children. He took ill and died ; his wife, who 
at the time was but twenty-one, attended him 
with the most assiduous and sleepless duty 
while he lived, and on his death declared that 
she felt she could not survive him. She recom- 
mended her children, to whom she was also 
the tenderest mother, to her parent's care ; she 
then lay down, and though in the prime of life 
and vigour of health, she rapidly sunk under 
the feeling of uncontrollable affection, and died 
of a broken heart about a week after her hus- 
band. Such traits are honourable to the sensi- 
bilities of the Brazilians ; and certainly I never 
met a people, among whom the ties of kindred 
duties and affections seem stronger, or exercised 
in a more exemplary manner. 

The women of the country are remarkably 
prolific. They marry at the early age of twelve 
or thirteen, and continue to have children to 
a late period. Marriages, also, take place be- 
tween persons of very different ages, and the 
disparity is not considered singular. Men of 


sixty frequently marry girls of twelve, and 
have a family about them, where the wife 
seems the daughter and the little ones the 
grandchildren. When both the parties marry 
young, their families increase to an incredible 
number. A Jeronimo Comargos, living near 
S. Jose, aged forty-eight, and his wife, aged 
thirty-eight, had thirteen sons in succession, and 
then six daughters, all living; three of them 
are married, and they have already five grand- 
children also. Anna, the wife of Antonio 
Dutra, had four children at one birth, who were 
all baptized together, and lived. Instances of 
similar fecundity are every where seen in the 
town and neighbourhood. 

I have pointed out, also, several distinguished 
for extraordinary births, and a super-fetation 
hardly known, I believe, in other countries. 
Maria Ilene, the wife of Antonio Jose d'An- 
drada, was confined after the usual time, and 
had a daughter, but she still continued preg- 
nant, and in two months after was delivered 
of another, who both lived. But the most 
singular circumstance, and which I could 
hardly have believed, was it not communicated 
to me by the sargente mor, as a thing which 
he knew to be fact, was the following very 
extraordinary conception. A creole woman, 


with whom he was acquainted in the neigh- 
bourhood, had three children at a birth, of 
three different colours, white, brown, and black, 
with all the features of their respective classes. 
Such a thing, I believe, is generally supposed 
to be impossible in Europe ; but in South 
America, it is only one of the extraordinary 
instances of the almost preternatural fecun- 
dity, both of the animal and vegetable king- 

Having passed the Christmas holidays among 
my kind and cordial friends, and performed, as 
far as they were required, all the professional 
duties of the season, for the little remnant 
of the reformed church scattered here in the 
wilderness, I proceeded farther into the country 
to visit the topaz mines, and the famous city of 
Villa Rica ; or, as it is now named, the Cidade 
Imperiale do Ouro Preto. I was accompanied by 
a young friend, the brother of Mr. Milward. 
We took Patricio as our guide, and set out on 
the 30th of December. Our direct road lay 
across the pass of the serra, which we had as- 
cended some days before ; but there runs pa- 
rallel to its base, at some distance on the other 
side, the river Carahandahy, which was so 
swollen with the continued rains, as to be now 
impassable ; and there was no bridge across it. 


This was another proof of the careless impro- 
vidence of the people of the country. They 
had not left a tree standing within any acces- 
sible distance ; and in this land of forests, they 
could procure wood enough to make a bridge 
across a narrow river. This prodigal waste of 
timber, in some parts of the country, has been 
a subject of complaint and regret by all the 
enlightened and patriotic men. It was me- 
lancholy to see, that when woods had been 
cleared away, they had not left a stick standing 
for several miles. 

Whilst this evil is so seriously felt and ac- 
knowledged, it is not a little surprising that no 
precautionary measures are taken to repair the 
damage already committed, and no prohibitory 
means enforced to prevent a recurrence of it. 
An absurd practice prevails among the lower 
orders, of setting fire at the end of August, to 
the grass, bushes, and underwood, under pre- 
tence of thus destroying the myriads of cara- 
patoos which infest both men and cattle. The 
effect of these fires, is not only to check and 
destroy again, every year, the rising forests, but 
also too frequently to communicate to, and lay 
waste, extensive tracts of old wood, which are 
seen blazing for days together. No punishment 
is, however, awarded ; and no provision is made 


to extinguish, if possible, this insane and in- 
jurious practice.* 

Our way was along the base of the ridge, till 
we turned the extremity of it, and so by the 
head of the river which we could not cross. 
The weather had been for a few days dry, and 
we had hopes that it would accompany us. 
The morning when we set out was beautiful 
and temperate, and we enjoyed it for some 
time, till we arrived near the extremity of the 
ridge, which was terminated by a conical moun- 
tain. Here we saw a dark cap gathering on 
the point of the cone ; and some indistinct 
distant muttering gave us warning of what was 
to follow. Patricio said, " chuve," and urged 
us to hasten past the mountain, close under 
which our road lay : but the moment we 
arrived there, as if the cloud had reserved 
itself till then, it burst upon us, and discharged 
such a deluge of fire and water as was very 

* In an eloquent appeal by J.B. Andrada, is the following passage : — 
" Our forests, so rich in all kinds of timber, would not then be de- 
stroyed as they are now, by the axe of the negro, or reduced to ashes 
by the hand of ignorance. The verdant summits of our mountains, 
those perennial sources of humidity and fertility to the lowlands, would 
not then be laid bare and scorched by the burning heats of our climate, 
and our forests would be preserved, which, by their foliage, size, and 
ponderosity, give a peculiar character to our beautiful country." 


I had always before been rather gratified by 
the sensations which thunder and lightning 
imparted, any vague apprehensions of danger 
being lost in the stronger feelings of awe 
and sublimity ; but this was really so horrible, 
that I could no more enjoy it than if I had 
stood under the exposure of a battery of loaded 
cannon — and the impression is hardly yet worn 
off. It became quite dark in mid-day sunshine, 
except when some lurid blaze enveloped us, which 
was accompanied by a sheet of water, which 
fell on us like a cataract, and almost beat us 
to the ground. The explosion of sound im- 
mediately followed the flash ; it came with 
a tremendous rattling noise, not like distant 
thunder, but as if the rocks above us were rent 
by some force, and tumbling upon us. If I 
could have divested myself of the alarm which 
the immediate proximity of such awful danger 
excited, I should have been delighted to con- 
template the chemistry of nature, on her grand 
scale. I remember with what pleasure I had 
seen Sir Humphrey Davy produce water from 
the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen. Here 
it was generated from the same cause in an 
instant, and in cataracts; and I was standing 
in the midst of the combustion, and admitted, 
as it were, into the very interior of nature's great 


laboratory. The lightning in this part of the 
country is often fatal ; and we had next day 
an opportunity of seeing a commemoration of 
its effects. 

With great difficulty we made our way 
through this ordeal of fire and water, which 
was sometimes accompanied by violent gusts 
of wind, which we could not stem ; and at 
length emerged upon a broad campos, similar 
to that we had passed before our arrival at 
S. Jose. The first impression was very favour- 
able : large herds of black cattle, attended by 
herdsmen, covered the lawns, and were eating 
the herbage which nature, with a bountiful 
hand, had spread as the future support of tens 
of thousands more. The men were amusing 
themselves with discharging sky-rockets ; but 
we could not learn why. The practice, so com- 
mon in towns, was rather unusual, we thought, 
in so remote a place, and among such a people. 
We afterwards found that these cattle were 
merely herds of passage to Rio, from the re- 
mote interior ; and the herdsmen were here 
celebrating the eve of the Epiphany, by fire- 
works, as they do before the churches in Rio, as 
a preparation for every festival. 

In one of the romantic glens we passed, the 
feitor of a fazenda had built a residence, and 


nothing could be conceived more beautiful and 
picturesque than the scenery. A stream, as 
clear as crystal, tumbled down the rocks in 
cascades, just behind the house ; slopes of flower- 
ing shrubs, in full and fragrant blossom, rose all 
about ; and above, large forest trees spread 
their branching arms. In the bosom of this 
lovely scene he had built his house, and it was 
in size and structure a good one ; but nothing 
could be conceived more dismal, dirty, and 
dreary than its appearance. We naturally 
imagined that the man who had judgment to 
select such a spot, would have taste to adorn it. 
We fancied an English villa, with all its elegant 
accessories, and we agreed that nothing would 
have been more beautiful ; yet thousands of such 
spots lay every where about us, and the only 
inhabitant was a man, who seemed a fit inmate 
for a pig-sty. 

Beyond this the campos exhibited an extra- 
ordinary appearance. It was rifted and rent 
into a number of deep chasms, which divided the 
soil sometimes for a considerable length, and 
some of them were very suddenly formed. We 
pursued our road till we abruptly came to the 
edge of a very deep one, which seemed to have 
been recently opened, by the sudden falling in of 
the field over which we were passing ; it had 


only just intercepted the way, and we were 
obliged to ride round the extremity of it, at its 
upper end, as the lower stretched to an almost 
interminable extent. The appearance of the 
interior of these chasms was quite rich and 
beautiful. They consisted of a bright red 
earth, varied with vivid hues of scarlet, violet, 
and other irridescent colours, passing into each 
other like those in the arch of a rainbow ; some 
were intersected with sharp rugged ridges below, 
miniature representatives of the great ones that 
intersected the country, exhibiting with their fan- 
tastic shapes and vivid hues, an appearance as 
singular as it was beautiful. Some were of vast 
depth and extent — some were visible at their 
termination, and you saw where they began and 
ended — some opened into deeper glens, where 
they were lost. We were at first utterly at a 
loss to account for the rending asunder of the 
ground, which caused these fissures ; they 
seemed like the effects of earthquakes, and the 
process was every where still going on ; but on 
closer examination, we saw that through the 
bottom of each ran a small stream, which 
entirely washed away the mould, and left a 
vacuity, which the earth above fell in to supply. 
Many leagues, therefore, of these places seem 
undermined with subterranean currents, which, 



in process of time, may convert this verdant 
surface into a succession of impassable red 

We at length came to the very extensive 
fazenda of Joaquim de Miranda, a large white 
house, standing in a lawn, which had the 
appearance of an English demense, and was the 
only human habitation we had seen for ten 
miles ; and at six we arrived at the arrayal of 
Lagoa Dourado, drenched with rain. We brought 
no mule or any luggage, but a water-proof bag, 
containing a change of clothes, which Patricio 
carried on his head ; on opening it every thing 
was dry, so we made ourselves comfortable. 

The arrayal of Lagoa consists of about fifty 
houses, being a long street down a hill, with 
three churches. This was a large proportion 
of religious edifices for such a place, but the 
people seemed very pious, for before the doors 
stood an immense number of crosses, and it 
appeared to us, as if every person in the town 
had erected one. 

In the estalagem of this village, we found both 
quarto and cama, which latter consisted of a 
canvass bag stuffed with the glumes of milho, 
which caused a loud rustling, disturbing the 
person who slept on it, and every one in the 
room, on the smallest motion ; but it had a 


still more disagreeable quality. In the next 
room was a merry party, who, after we were in 
bed, began to sing very harmonious duets ; and I 
fell into a pleasing slumber, with the sounds of 
sweet music floating about me. I soon, how- 
ever, awoke in great pain, with violent spasms 
in my feet and hands, the cause of which I could 
not at all account for ; at length I recollected 
that, when sleeping on a similar bed before at 
Ilheos, I was attacked in the same way, and 
awoke labouring under the same distressing feel- 
ing. I therefore removed my rustling matrass, 
the spasms went off, and I slept from that 
hour till morning. It has been said that these 
beds cause spasms, and as far as my experience 
goes, it strengthens the opinion. 

Our way next morning lay along the edge of 
one of the most extensive and richest lavras in 
the country, and from which the place derived 
its name of dourado, or golden. Immediately 
outside the village, is a very large and deep 
ravine, extending to a considerable distance, and 
exposing its bowels stained with bright red ochre. 
This is excavated in soft sand-stone, of the con- 
sistence of hard clay, and is strongly impregnated 
with gold, which accumulates in caldeiros or pits 
like caldrons. Large masses of gold are some- 
times found in these caldeiros. They are indi- 

m 2 


cated by fibres ramifying through the matrix in 
which they lie, and when pursued from different 
directions, they terminate in a common nucleus. 
A lump was found about thirty years ago in 
this place, which weighed forty pounds. The 
want of a current of water renders it less valu- 
able, but they have conducted a considerable 
stream along the summit of the pits; we saw a 
number of negroes, covered with red cloaks and 
caps, engaged in the works, and their odd 
costume caused them to form a singular 

The reputation of the riches of these cal- 
deiros, had nearly caused the death of the pro- 
prietor. Application was made to him to sell the 
mine, but he constantly refused. He was threat- 
ened by anonymous communications, but he 
disregarded them ; and at length he was attacked 
by assassins, who left him apparently dead. He 
was brought to S. Joao d'el Rey, and was 
attended by Dr. Byrde, who told me the circum- 
stance. He never ventured to return to Lagoa, 
but disposed of the mine. The assassin was 
well known ; he at first fled, but has since 
returned and is now living at his ease in the 

Our way lay through campos similar to those 
of yesterday, and on an elevated plain we observed 


a very large cross. Its unusual size attracted my 
notice, and I rode up to view it. It appeared, 
by an inscription, that a Senhor Antonio, of 
Lagoa, the village we had left, was travelling 
over this plain in 1811, when he was over- 
taken by such a thunder-storm as we encoun- 
tered yesterday, and was struck dead ; and his 
friends erected this cross on the spot where his 
scorched body was found, in commemoration of 
the circumstance. It is said that lightning in 
Brazil is innocuous, but the people here know 
it is otherwise, and frequent crosses to mark its 
effects are melancholy proofs of it. 

In all ages the effects of lightning have been 
distinguished by some mark ; and among the 
Romans, the removal of the triste bidental set 
upon the spot, was considered an act of great 
impiety. The same impression continues among 
people down to the present day ; but on the 
introduction of Christianity, the cross was sub- 
stituted in place of other emblems ; and in 
Catholic countries, it every where distinguishes 
the sacred spot, marked by the celestial visita- 
tion. In some places it was set up in a small 
cavity, evidently made by the impression of the 
electric fluid on the ground ; and so it was a 
substitute for the puteal, erected on similar spots 
by the Romans. It is also a proof that a cross 


does not always indicate a murder in Catholic 
countries,, as some assert, but that it is only one 
of the many causes for its erection ; and I pre- 
sume Lord Byron was in error, when he said 
the crosses on the crags were not " devotion's 
offering/' but the " memorials foul of murderous 

Beyond this, we came to extensive horse- 
pastures, where a number of mares and foals 
were grazing. They were the first instances 
we had seen of any extensive portion of these 
campos applied to pasturage, and from the high 
condition in which the cattle appeared, it seemed 
as if the place was very favourable for that 
purpose. About mid-day, we arrived at a place 
with the odd name of Olho d'Agoa, or eye of 
water. These words, in Portuguese, mean a 
source or spring, and there is a spring of very 
pure water near it. The rancho was a mi- 
serable place, on the summit of a hill, though 
it was between two picturesque objects, one 
a fine church, and the other, a magnificent 
figueiro, or Brazilian fig-tree, which had escaped 
the general devastation of timber, and stood a 
noble ornament on a bare hill. We could get 
no milho for our horses, till Patricio went to 
the house of the vigario, at the bottom of the 
hill, and purchased some. The clergyman of 


the parish here, as in other places, was the 
chief farmer who supplied people with ne- 

From hence we saw the serra of Capa Boa, 
extending from east to west, and forming ano- 
ther of those great barriers, which rise out of 
the extensive campos, like vast walls, dividing 
them into great enclosures ; and, in a short 
time, we arrived at the fazenda de Medonza, 
the out-offices of which were so extensive, as 
to resemble a village. The houses were em- 
bosomed in trees, and the sloping sides of the 
hills around, were covered with plantations of 
the milho and cana, of the richest verdure. 
Winding through it was a clear river, over 
a pebbled bed, and the aspect of the whole 
was peculiarly pleasing. It was one of those 
delightful views, which, in Brazil, bursts on 
the eye of the traveller, and relieves it from 
the general uniformity of the solitude around 

This part of the Minas seems but little fre- 
quented. We did not meet, in two days' jour- 
ney, a single tropero, or even fazenda, with 
two solitary exceptions. Instead of these 
pleasing indications of intercourse and civili- 
zation, the campos was every where bristling 
with crosses, set up in all directions, which 


seemed as numerous as those I had met in Wal- 
lachia. We found here, also, that they were not 
set up to indicate murder. Some of them were 
land-marks, erected by different proprietors, to 
distinguish their boundaries; this sign being 
used by the pious Brazilians as the best em- 
blem they could employ on any occasion. One 
indicated a sudden, but natural death : a mu- 
latto in climbing up the hill with a load, burst 
a blood-vessel, and died on the spot which the 
cross marked. One, only, indicated a murder 
and robbery : a man had left the village of 
Lagoa, with some of the produce of the mines 
in his pocket, and he was followed by another, 
who knew the circumstance; and when he 
overtook him, he stabbed and robbed him. 
This was the only instance we had yet met 
with, of a cross indicating murder and robbery ; 
and even this was caused by the parent of every 
crime in the country — gold. 

In the evening, we arrived at the arrayal 
of Sua Suci. This is a long and straggling 
village, on a hill, of about forty houses, very 
squalid and dirty. It has, however, two white 
churches, which mark it at a considerable dis- 
tance. We stopped at a kind of estalagem, 
kept by an old gentleman, called the major, 
with a long grey beard, and so very polite, that 


he never left us a moment alone. He was 
full of traditionary anecdotes of the Paulistas, 
and their first discovery of the country, events 
with which he seemed himself almost coeval. 
He told us the name Sua Suci implied, in their 
provincial tongue, the " long journey, and the 
short journey," and originated in the following 
cause : — The rival adventurers from Thau- 
bate and Peratininga wished to end disputes 
by making certain boundaries ; and for this 
purpose, two parties set out from opposite 
directions, agreeing, that where they met, was 
to be their mutual Hmits for the future. One 
was obliged to take a long circuit, and the 
other came by a direct road ; but they fell 
in with each other at this place, and thus it was 
named. This is a modification of Sallust's 
story of the arce PMlcenorum, though I could 
not find that the old major had any classical 
knowledge. We were informed by others, that 
the sua-suci, or sussuy, was the name of a 
large bird once found in this district, but of 
which the race has now become extinct. 

The place seems to have been of more conse- 
quence formerly than at present. The estalagem 
had no less than four camas, a greater number 
than we had yet seen in any one place ; these were 
made of coiras, stretched very tight on a frame, 


and were not only as elastic, but as sonorous 
as a drum. Our hostess was a very large portly 
dame, with a huge papos, or tumour in her 
throat. Her communicative husband, who saw 
me eyeing it, said to me aside, " nao come sal," 
that it arose from her " not eating salt " with her 
food, a cause I had heard elsewhere assigned 
for it. The old major was one of the many re- 
markable examples of the salubrity of the coun- 
try, having preserved his health and vigour to 
an extreme old age. He was past ninety, and 
he had a family of young children about him, 
the eldest of whom was not ten years old. 

The lightning and thunder was incessant all 
night, accompanied with torrents of rain ; and we 
were in hopes that, having now fully discharged 
themselves, we should be exempt from them for 
the day. Before we departed, an old negress, 
who attended us, came to me, and looking about 
with great caution, to see if any one observed 
her, she put her finger and thumb together 
in the form of a circle. Not comprehending 
her mystic sign, she looked about again, and 
then put her finger in her mouth, and began 
to chew it. I now understood that she wanted 
some money for tobacco, so I gave her a cobre, 
which she took with delight, and carefully con- 
cealed it in her girdle. It is not the usage here 


to give money to attendants, who are always 
slaves, and use it, it is said, only in buying 
caxas, which their masters strongly discourage ; 
yet I know no class who better deserve it, or 
on whom such little donations would be better 
bestowed. Many of them, I am informed, would 
lay it up as a store, to purchase their freedom ; 
and a small part of the sums wasted on inso- 
lent English waiters, would be an important ac- 
quisition to these poor, willing, humble, creatures. 
We left our venerable patriarch sitting in his 
porch, with a little boy and girl on each knee, 
to whom he was father, though there seemed 
a distance of three generations between them. 
In about an hour, we arrived at the Parahupeba, 
a considerable stream, that runs meandering 
through a low flat country, bordered by a con- 
siderable margin of meadow at each side. This 
was a rare sight, as the ground on the rivers 
of Brazil, generally rises abruptly from the 
banks. The land on each side was well- 
peopled and cultivated. We were informed, 
that the inhabitants had exhausted their means 
in searching for gold, and abandoned their specu- 
lations, and of necessity, had turned their atten- 
tion to farming, so that we did not meet with a 
single lavra for two days, but had latterly seen 
many well-cultivated fazendas. 


At ten o'clock we arrived at the arrayal of 
Redondo. The word arrayal, by which the 
villages of the interior are distinguished, sig- 
nifies an entrenchment, or camp, and they were 
originally the stations in which Europeans for- 
tified themselves, among the native Indians. I 
observed they generally stood on a hill, and 
were calculated to overlook the surrounding 
country, or defend themselves when attacked. 
Redondo seems to have been an old, and once 
a more respectable village than at present. 
Part of the street was paved, having a broad 
causeway of large stones. At present, it con- 
sists of a few mud-built houses. It has, how- 
ever, a church, and is surrounded with rich 
plantations of cana and bananas. 

At a little distance from hence, on ascending 
a rising ground, we caught a view of two magni- 
ficent serras. One was that of Ouro Branco, 
running in a vast rugged ridge towards the east, 
distant about seven leagues, having Villa Rica 
at the other side ; the other, running nearly 
north and south, was that of Congonhas, having 
the town of Congonhas do Campo at its base. 
The whole formed a grand chain of rocky 
mountains piled up to the clouds, and occupying 
a semicircle of the horizon. In an hour from 
hence we passed the Rio das Congonhas. It 


was here a considerable stream about thirty yards 
across ; it wound its way, like the Parahupeba, 
through a rich margin of meadows, and its 
course was visible for a considerable distance, to 
the town of the same name, that stood on each 
side of the stream, looking very respectable 
with its white houses and churches. 

The place derives its name from the abun- 
dance of the congonha plant found here. It is 
the matte of Paraguay, and used universally as 
tea. It grows in marshy places, and Patricio 
brought me some branches of it from the banks 
of the river. It attains the size of an orange 
tree, and has somewhat its air and aspect. The 
branches are slender and tapering ; the leaves 
oblong, lance-shaped, and slightly serrated at 
long intervals. The flowers consist of five 
white petals, and grow in clusters, sessile, and 
axillary. The leaves are dried, or rather roasted 
on twigs before the fire, where they crackle like 
laurel, and are then reduced nearly to powder and 
kept in pots. It is used sometimes as a hot and 
sometimes a cold infusion. I have drunk it pre- 
pared in three ways ; either an infusion of the 
fresh leaves, or made with the dried leaves, like 
China tea, or boiled with sugar and then drained 
off. The clear infusion exactly resembles that 
of common green tea; but it is insipid, and 


has nothing of its flavour or odour, nor, as far 
as my feelings warranted me to say, of its exhila- 
rating or refreshing quality. It is used in great 
quantities in Paraguay, particularly in mines, 
where it is supposed to correct the quality of the 
noxious vapours; but in Brazil it has no such 
reputation. I could not find that it was parti- 
cularly used by the miners. Its genus, I believe, 
is not well ascertained ; by some it is considered 
a species of holly.* 

At this point we arrived at a natural bridge 
between two deep ravines. The ground had 
fallen away on both sides, and left nothing but 
a very narrow isthmus, with a deep precipice 
on each side over which the dangerous road 
passed: as the process goes on the whole will 
very soon fall away, and this line of road will 
be altogether intercepted. From this the path 
became exceedingly rugged, over bare ledges of 
rock of a trap formation, which we had to climb 
up like stairs. Pursuing one of these ledges, 
which I supposed was the road, my horse 
stopped and began to snort; on looking forward, 
I saw that he had come to the edge of a steep 
precipice, down which one step more would 
have precipitated us, and on looking round I 

* Ilex vomitoria; — also Cassine paragua. — Miller' 's Dictionary, 
T. 83, Fig. 2. Pers. Synops. 


saw my companions at a considerable distance 
below me. On one side of me was the perpen- 
dicular face of the rock, on the other the 
shelving side of a steep mountain, and before me 
a deep precipice, and the ledge was altogether 
too narrow to turn. My first endeavour was 
to dismount, and, leaving the horse there, 
proceed for assistance to get him down ; but 
this I could not accomplish on the narrow ledge, 
which was not wide enough for me and the 
horse, so I sat in no small anxiety to know how 
I should extricate myself. At length the animal 
himself began to move backwards, and with 
much caution and sagacity, crushing my leg 
the whole way against the rock, he gained a wide 
place, and rescued us both from considerable 

After mid-day we arrived at the venda of 
Chepado do Mato, kept by an exceedingly rude 
and forward old lady; she had coarse sharp 
features, large ear-rings, and her grey hair, arti- 
ficially curled, surrounded her sallow face as if in 
a storm. She set her hands a-kimbo, described 
the excellence of her wine with great volubility, 
and was quite displeased because we would not 
drink it for our breakfast, but preferred coffee, 
which she would hardly condescend to make for 
us. As a contrast to her, there stood in the 


hall a poor black minstrel boy, who played a 
very simple instrument. It consisted of a single 
string stretched on a bamboo, bent into an arc, 
or bow. Half a cocoa nut, with a loop at its 
apex, was laid on his breast on the concave side ; 
the bow was thrust into this loop, while the 
minstrel struck it with a switch, moving his 
fingers up and down the wire at the same 
time. This produced three or four sweet notes, 
and was an accompaniment either to dancing or 
singing. He stood in the porch, and entertained 
us like a Welsh harper, while we were at break- 
fast, and he was so modest that when we praised 
his music, he actually blushed through his dusky 
cheeks. It was the first time that a branco, or 
white, had ever paid him such a compliment. 
We left our rude hostess, who gave us to under- 
stand she thought us shabby persons, because 
we would not drink some wine with our coffee, 
and hastened to cross the serra of Ouro Branco, 
which now lay before us. 

This serra, so called from the mines of white 
gold found in its bosom, is crossed in this 
direction by a very wild and solitary pass, and 
of no good repute in the country. Capao da 
Lana lay on the other side, still distant nearly 
fourteen miles ; the evening was fast falling, 
and no other resting-place between us. When 


we entered the glen which led to the pass, the 
sun was nearly setting ; and we saw the great 
rugged ridge bristling with its rocky peaks 
towards the horizon before us, where it would 
be impossible to find our way in the dark, 
and this we had now to climb over with our 
jaded horses. The glen was of great extent, 
with rugged stratified rocks rising at each side 
to a vast height, like Glencrow, in Argyle- 
shire ; but there was " no rest and be thankful" 
road to lead us out of it ; it was merely a 
rugged broken pathway, and as we advanced, 
every thing about us became more wild and 
solitary. Among the rocks was an immense 
projection which had obstructed the way ; and 
it had been necessary to remove it. It 
proved to be a large mass of iron-stone ; and 
tons of the ore were now piled up in heaps, at 
each side of the road, of the richest and most 
valuable quality, containing about ninety per 
cent, of metal ; yet this most useful article lay 
here despised, while the speculations for gold 
employed every one's attention. The Indians, 
more wise, exchanged bars of gold for nails 
of iron. 

Patricio, who was leading the way, now sud- 
denly stopped, bent forward with the greatest 
earnestness, and fixed his dark and gleaming eye 

VOL. II. n 


on some horrible object in a thicket beside the 
road. It occurred to me, that some of the ban- 
ditti who were said to infest this glen, were con- 
cealed there, and I expected every moment to 
see them burst out ; but presently there appeared, 
what seemed to me to be one of the most 
beautiful objects in nature. It was the cobra 
coral, or coral serpent. It was of an elegant 
taper form, about a yard long ; its glossy skin 
striped with alternate bands of crimson and 
azure, varying their hues as it moved in 
graceful sinuosities along the grass ; and its 
diamond eyes beamed with so bright yet mild 
a lustre, that my first impulse was to take the 
lovely creature up, and cherish it in my bosom. 
Not so, Patricio ; he started back to the 
greatest possible distance, at which he could 
reach it with his long staff, and then attacked it 
with the ferocity of a tiger ; his eyes gleaming 
like fire at every blow, till it lay motionless 
on the grass. It seems, this lovely creature is 
reputed the most deadly of the serpent tribe, 
more so even than the rattle-snake, as there 
has been no antidote yet discovered against 
its poison ; and when Patricio had deprived it 
of life, he walked off with an erect figure, and 
the conscious look of a man, who thought he 
had " done the state some service." Unwilling 


to leave so curious an object of natural history 
behind, I alighted to take it up, but he again 
darted back, eagerly drew me away, and would 
not suffer me to go near it. There was still 
a slight motion perceptible in its tail, so he 
again attacked it till life was totally extinct. 
He was then going to cut it to pieces with his 
faca, but as I was anxious to preserve it, he 
took a stick, and making a slit in it, caught 
in it the neck, and then with great repugnance 
handed it to me at arm's length, with the snake 
hanging by the head. I brought it on to Capao, 
and then embalmed it in a bottle of caxas. 

It was now so late, that we despaired of 
crossing the serra, so we called a council to 
know what we should do, and Patricio informed 
us there was a small rancho still deeper in the 
glen, at a place called Rodeo. As this pass 
was so wild, and bore so bad a name, we asked 
him if the keeper was to be trusted. He 
shrugged up his shoulders and said, " Every 
married man was counted honest in this 
country, but he could say no more for him." 
We therefore determined to be guided by the 
appearance of the place, and the countenance 
of the people. The rancho was a miserable 
shed, but daubed with a suspicious disguise 
of a little paint and whitewash. The inmates 



consisted of an elderly man and his wife, with 
two sons ; and a more cadaverous and repulsive 
group we never looked at. They pressed us 
with the most officious earnestness to stop, 
magnified the danger and difficulty of the serra, 
where they said we should be lost in the dark, 
and, as we found afterwards, greatly exag- 
gerated the actual distance. We, however, 
resolved to push on, our sagacious guide 
thinking it better even to pass the night in 
the mountains, than in the den of a bandit's 

We left our disappointed hosts, with a very 
dark scowl on their countenances ; and a little 
further on, came to the foot of the formidable 
serra. We hastened to clamber up the sides as 
fast as our jaded and stumbling horses could pro- 
ceed, and arrived at the summit. The sun had 
set below, but here we caught his parting rays, 
and had a sublime view of the vast solitude 
about us ; the tops of the mountains just illu- 
mined by a momentary gleam, and the deep 
glens in dark shade below. As we knew the 
light rapidly closed after sun-set, we hastened 
down the other side ; but we were suddenly 
involved in darkness long before we were extri- 
cated from the passes : Patricio, however, with 
his usual sagacity, wound his way with unerring 


instinct, and long after dark brought us safe 
to Capao da Lana. 

The venda of Capao is a large establishment, 
to accommodate the concourse of passengers 
who make it their place of rest, after crossing 
the serra. The proprietor is also an extensive 
fazendeiro, and owner of the topaz mines. He 
is called the man with two fathers ; for two rich 
proprietors laid claim to him as their son, and 
evinced their sense of paternity, by leaving him 
each a large fazenda. The people of the 
house were among the rudest we had met ; 
and whenever we spoke to each other, came up, 
leaned on the table, and looked full in our faces. 
A mulatto, who attended as a waiter, was par- 
ticularly offensive in this way. We turned him 
out several times, but he always came back 
with a stupid absence of perception that he was 
giving offence, and that want of tact or inca- 
pability of discerning what was decorous or 
proper, which we often observed among Bra- 
zilians of his class. 

Through the large area of the house there 
ran a limpid stream, whose gurgling sound was 
very pleasant, and we hoped it would lull us 
to repose when we lay down. But the moment 
every thing was silent, a loud din of the most 
discordant sounds burst from the stream, which 


continued all night. This proceeded from the 
multitude of frogs which made their abode 
there, and, like the ranee palustres of Horace, 
completely averted sleep. The noise in this 
place was the third distinct diversity of sound 
we had heard from these animals : the first 
proceeded from the ferradors, or smiths ; the 
second from the assobiadors, or whistlers ; and 
now from the grasnadors, or croakers. It was 
a very loud, deep base, that caused a sense 
of vibration in every thing about us. This 
extraordinary variety in the noise made by 
animals, in every other respect the same, 
argued a singular diversity in the structure 
of the muscles of the larynx, which would be 
a nice and curious subject of investigation. 

A large topaz mine, of which our host was 
the proprietor, lay about a mile from the 
rancho, and the next morning we visited it. 
The regions through which we had passed, 
were generally clay mountains or granite ridges ; 
we had now entered a new formation, a soft 
schist of talk, clay, or mica slate, which every 
where presented its lamellated edges in low 
ridges, just above the soil. In some places it 
was hard and solid, as building slate ; in others 
it was soft and friable, and in various states 
of decomposition. About fifty years ago, in 


pushing a road through one of these soft 
schistic knolls, which stood in their way, they 
were astonished to see several crystals of topaz 
tumble out of the soft mass. On this discovery 
they began to search ; and they have now 
found and opened three large mines in the 
neighbourhood, within a circle of ten or twelve 
miles. The mine of Capao do Lana is an im- 
mense circular quarry, the shape of a hollow 
inverted cone, whose upper circumference is a 
mile or more. The sloping sides are composed 
of talk, or mica slate, either green, grey, or blue, 
and in a state of such decomposition, as to be 
quite soft, hardly retaining any of its lamellated 
structure. This is called the corpo da formacao, 
or the substance in which the topaz veins are 
formed. These veins are a white medullary 
mass, called massa branca, resembling soft 
chalk, though not calcareous, but is supposed to 
be some modification of mica. It forms cords 
as thick as an arm or leg, running for several 
yards, and ramifying into various smaller 
branches. This massa branca is the matrix 
in which the topaz is imbedded, like a nodule 
of flint in a lump of chalk. 

The operation by which we saw this mine 
worked was as follows : a stream was con- 
ducted from a neighbouring river to its upper 


edge ; and from hence, a circular channel 
was cut, with a quick descent, in a spiral 
manner round the side, till it arrived at the 
lowest part, where it was suffered to issue, and 
let off by another cut. Twenty naked ne- 
groes were placed in the bed of this water- 
course, at different intervals, with large hoes 
in their hands; and over them, on the bank 
above, stood the overseer, with a large bag in 
one hand, and a long rod in the other. When 
all was ready, the water was let in above, and 
it came down in an impetuous torrent, under- 
mining and washing away the foundations of the 
soft bank, which was constantly falling down in 
large masses. These masses, it was the busi- 
ness of the negroes to back with the hoes ; and 
when they exposed a white lump, they took it 
up, opened it, and threw the topazes it might 
contain to the overseer above, who put them 
into his bag. As the torrent was very strong, 
it frequently carried them down along with the 
dissolved mass ; and in order to intercept them, 
such another troop of negroes was placed in 
the water after it had issued from the mine. 
These stood in the middle of the current, and 
gcithered up with their hands all the gravel 
carried down, which they threw into shallow 
pits made in the banks. Here any topaz en- 


tangled in it, became immediately visible ; it 
was hastily picked up by the negro, who to save 
time, chucked it into his mouth, and went on 
gathering the passing gravel. When their 
mouths became full, a basin was brought round, 
into which they spit all that was so collected. 

From hence we proceeded to the mine of Boa 
Vista, about four miles distant. This consists 
of a very large irregular space of decomposed 
schist, so soft, that we sank above our ancles 
when we attempted to cross it. Here a number 
of negroes, with rude knives like pieces of iron 
hoop, were scarifying the ground. When they 
cut across a white vein, it immediately became 
visible, and they pursued it, dislodging the 
topazes which were bedded inside, and handing 
them to an overseer with a bag. The quantity 
collected here is always most abundant after 
rain ; the surface then breaks up, and the 
massa branca is seen peeping from under the 
rupture, without further search. In passing 
across with the proprietor, who obligingly 
came with me, I picked up a lump of the massa 
branca, with a nest of crystals inside, which had 
just appeared ; and the man suffered me to keep 
it as a curiosity, without receiving any com- 

The town of Boa Vista, where a topaz market 


is established, was at a short distance ; and 
when we arrived, we caused Patricio to notify 
that we wished to purchase some. Immediately 
our horses were surrounded by groups of mer- 
chants, every one bringing forward his hoard, 
in bags, bowls, and dishes. They were not of 
a superior quality, but they were proportionately 
cheap. The market began rather high, but we 
might pick and choose for a patac, or about 
Is. 6d. each. Presently, however, there came 
such a glut, that we had them at our own 
price; and the market left off at a vintem, that is, 
about one penny a score ! Indeed we purchased 
little bowls of them for any thing we pleased 
to give. The greater number of them was very 
rude, truncated at both ends, and the angles 
very irregular. Some, however, were exqui- 
sitely beautiful ; the crystals perfectly formed, 
and terminated at the extremities by their pro- 
per angles. Some were still bedded in the 
massa branca in which they w r ere found ; and 
are curious specimens of this kind of formation. 
It is generally supposed that the topazes of 
Brazil are found, like those of Saxony and Siberia, 
bedded in granite rocks, and shooting from a 
matrix of quartz. Such a formation, I believe, 
is not known in these mines, nor have any crys- 
tals been discovered, except in the massa branca, 


though I did see at Rio a single specimen of 
one shooting from quartz,, but I could not learn 
from whence it came. From the soft texture, 
however, of the massa branca, and the very loose 
and detachable manner in which the topazes 
were held, as well as from the great irregularity, 
in general, in which they were bedded, it seems 
very probable that this mass was not the ori- 
ginal matrix of the crystal, but that some 
convulsion had disturbed their first formation, 
and scattered them in the way in which they 
are now found. They were generally broken 
off, apparently from some hard surface, to 
which they had been attached, and the fractures 
were visible, not only at the ends, but at the 
sides ; and as it required no force to detach 
them from the soft doughy medium in which 
they were involved, the defect was not caused 
by the workmen, but by some antecedent vio- 
lence. Indeed, the whole country, for several 
leagues in this direction, exactly resembled the 
formation of the mines. On every side, knolls 
of schist, in different states of decomposition, 
appeared rising from the soil ; and as the road 
was constantly cut through them, when they 
stood in the line ; it is no great exaggeration 
to say, that the soft paste through which we 
passed was still the corpo da formacao, and 


our way was paved or strewed with to- 

The general colour of the topaz here is 
yellow ; when heated, it becomes red, and is 
positively electric on one side, and negative 
on the other. The topaz of Germany becomes 
white, by a similar process, proving that the 
colouring matter of both is different. The 
white topazes of Brazil frequently pass for dia- 
monds. A French jeweller, some time ago, 
cut and set seventy-one in different trinkets, 
and sold them in Paris as diamonds. An 
inquiry, however, was made into their quality, 
and he was tried and fined for the fraud. The 
topaz was, I believe, the chrysolite of the 
ancients, and called so from the avidity with 
which it was searched for, in an island in the 
Red Sea.* 

The village of Boa Vista consists of forty 
or fifty houses, built at irregular intervals, over 
a flat surface, on the summit of a hill, so as to 
form a very wide street, at the extremity of 
which, stands a white church, surrounded by 
an immense number of wooden crosses, of all 
sizes, and stuck up in all directions : they 
were sometimes at a considerable distance from 

■ To7ru£o> quaero. Piin. lib. xxxvii. cap. 8. 


the church, and before the doors of houses. 
Not far from the town is the serra of Boa 
Vista. It consists of a number of conical 
hills, covered with the richest green-sward. 
One of them out-topped the rest, forming an 
immense regular mound, swelling with its verdant 
bosom to the sky, and presenting on all sides 
a surface of singular beauty. This was called, 
by way of eminence, Boa Vista. It was a 
holiday, and the inhabitants were all out, 
dressed in their best clothes. They are, on 
such occasions, remarkably neat in their per- 
sons. Their white cotton vestments are so 
pure, and their coloured ones so vivid, that when 
they walk in groups along the dark green-sward, 
they look quite picturesque, and add consider- 
ably to the scenery. 

Immediately on leaving Boa Vista, we heard 
the distant muttering in the mountains ; it comes 
from the horizon like some mysterious warning, 
which is never sent in vain : however fine and 
beautiful the day, when it is heard, it is immedi- 
ately followed by a war of elements, and a de- 
luge of rain. In a very short time, dark masses 
of clouds advanced from all sides, and formed 
a canopy over us. The electric fluid burst forth, 
and the usual quantity of water followed, which 
poured down on us in torrents, till we reached 


Villa Rica. The worst roads in the province are 
those that lead to the imperial city. It was evi- 
dent, that once on a time, much labour and ex- 
pense had been incurred in making this avenue 
accessible, but it was so no longer. A paved 
road had extended a considerable way from the 
town, but it had long been broken up, and the 
materials lay about encumbering the ground, 
rendering nearly impassable a way naturally dif- 
ficult. Through this we stumbled along, at a 
slow pace, under a storm of wind, rain, thun- 
der and lightning, till we arrived at a stone 
causeway, ascending up the side of a steep hill, 
having one solitary house at the top. We 
crept up this with great caution, and then found 
ourselves at the head of the main street of 
Villa Rica, which descended in a long avenue 
of houses down the other side. 

Nothing could be more dismal than the 
decayed aspect this once golden city presented. 
At the bottom of the causeway stood the re- 
mains of a very large edifice, with a variety of 
offices, and gardens laid out in a princely manner 
by some gold-dreaming speculator ; it was now 
a heap of ruins. On the top stood a large build- 
ing, with an ornamented front, having mouldings 
and cornices to the windows and roofs, with 
balconies and verandas in a respectable style : 


we were informed that this was the estalagem. 
We ascended to a long corridor, and a negress 
came with a key, and opened for us a large 
apartment, which we were to occupy ; but such 
an apartment! — the lattices of the windows 
were hanging in rags, the ceiling and walls had 
fallen in, and the floor was drenched with rain. 
We asked for another, but all the others were 
in keeping with the first. The comfortless 
misery of such a place to wet and weary travel- 
lers was intolerable, so we rushed out of the 
grand hotel of the imperial city, to seek for an 
humbler and drier shed. At the opposite side 
we found another, nearly as large and ragged, 
but somewhat less wet, and here we established 

As soon as the deluge of rain subsided, we 
went out to see the city. In a vast hollow, 
surrounded by an amphitheatre of very steep 
mountains, is a flat bottom of several hundred 
acres, into which all the streams that run down 
the sides of the mountains discharge themselves. 
As there appeared to have been originally no 
outlet from this bottom, the water must have 
accumulated and formed a lake of great depth, 
till it ascended as high as one of the sides, over 
which it ran, and so carried off the surplus 
water, like an overshot dam. On examining 


the low ridge which bounds the plain on one 
side, the exterior surface of the rock seemed 
washed down by some broad fall of water ; and 
as there is now no communication by which 
water could run in that direction, it struck me 
that it must have been caused by the overflow- 
ings of the lake from the other side, when it 
had reached that level. The continued pressure 
of the water, however, against this natural em- 
bankment, caused it to rupture, and a passage 
was effected for it through the chasm which it 
made, and through which a considerable stream 
was running ; but this is not the only outlet, for 
it flows besides through several arched passages 
made in this mound, as if it had eaten for itself 
a subterraneous outlet through the soft rock, 
at the time when part of it gave way in another 

The bottom of this supposed lake is now a 
long horizontal sandy plain of unequal breadth, 
through which the mountain torrents which run 
into it, make their way in a variety of channels, 
and find their exit either by the great rupture, or 
the smaller arched caverns. On the north side 
of this the town is built, having one very long 
street extending up and down hill for nearly 
two miles along the side of the sandy bottom, 
connected by several stone bridges thrown over 


the torrents, that intersect it in their way down, 
as they tumble from the mountains above ; and 
this long street terminates in a very curious 
assemblage of houses, built on abrupt emi- 
nences, and ascended by very steep passages. 

Some of the intelligent people here think, 
that the sandy bottom was originally the crater 
of a volcano, which having become extinguished, 
had, like many similar cavities, been filled up 
with water, and so became a lake. Conceive 
then yourself standing at the bottom, and a 
serra of lofty rugged rocks skirting the horizon 
surrounding you, and one of them considerably 
higher than the rest, terminated by a fantastic 
pillar-like knob, having some resemblance to a 
human form, and for that reason called by the 
Indians, Ita Columi, or the child of stone ; — 
conceive the mountains declining from this and 
forming a vast circle, in the centre of which is 
a deep cavity, like the crater of a volcano ; — 
conceive a number of projecting rocks with 
white houses standing in clusters on the 
summits of all the salient angles, looking down 
into the crater, and this will give you an idea 
of the present appearance of this very singular 
town. Had the bottom been still a lake, and 
the mountains about it been covered with 
their primeval woods, Villa Rica would be per- 

VOL. II. o 


haps the most romantic and picturesque town 
in the world ; but as it now stands, in the 
midst of bare sterile mountains, whose naked 
flanks are ruptured and torn open in search 
of gold, leaving no objects but unsightly quar- 
ries above, and an irksome sandy muddy plain 
below, the look of the town is singularly re- 
pulsive and disagreeable. 

We found the interior of the town, however, 
in a better condition : where the long street ter- 
minates, there are several others lined with neat 
houses, kept clean and in good repair, having 
shops filled with a great variety and good assort- 
ment of all kinds of ware ; cotton goods from 
Manchester, broad-cloths from Yorkshire, stock- 
ings from Nottingham, hats from London, and 
cutlery from Sheffield, actually sold in the heart 
of the mountains of South America, as abun- 
dant and almost as cheap, as in the towns 
where they were manufactured; and when I 
saw about me every where the produce of the 
labour of our hands, I could not help exclaim- 
ing with Eneas, and with a more literal appli- 
cation, Quoe regio in terns nostri non plena 
laboris* Proceeding .still further along the 
winding of the hill's side, we ascended to the 

* Virg. iEn. lib. I. p. 460. 


praca, where the government-house is situated 
on the summit of a very steep street. In front 
is a parapet, which commands a magnificent 
view of the whole town and vicinity; but the 
edifice is rendered ridiculous by a number of 
small swivels mounted on the walls, not larger 
than pop-guns, and which seem rather intended 
to amuse boys than as the defensive preparation 
of men ; and in fact, their sole use is for the 
boyish pastime of making a noise on festal 
days, an amusement of which the Brazilians 
of Villa Rica are as fond as those of Rio. This 
court-end of the town is really pretty. Descend- 
ing from the palace we crossed a green square, 
at one end of which stood the camera of the 
ouvidor, and at another a handsome church ; 
and from hence are several good houses in 
excellent order, inhabited by people of distinc- 
tion and those attached to the offices of govern- 

This strange-built town, therefore, may be 
divided into three distinct parts : the long and 
almost interminable street by which we entered, 
where artizans chiefly reside, and where are 
several workshops, in which braziers, smiths, 
and other operative mechanics were plying 
their trades, in different home manufactures ; the 
centre of the town, where several cross streets 



intersect, filled with opulent shopkeepers, selling 
the goods of foreign manufacture ; and the 
court, where the idle and independent take up 
their abode. Scattered through this space, there 
are nine churches built on detached and con- 
spicuous points, giving an air of considerable 
consequence to the town. Indeed, these churches 
are a distinguished feature in every part of Brazil. 
They are the first object seen in a distant 
town, and the Matriz is the pride and boast of 
the inhabitants. There are besides a theatre, 
which is open on certain festival days; several 
public fountains ornamented with sculpture, from 
which brazen dolphins and other figures are 
continually spouting streams of pure water; 
and, in fact, every thing that strikes the eye 
forcibly reminds a stranger, that it was once a 
place of great wealth and consequence. It is 
still thriving, though greatly decayed ; the 
habitable houses amount to 1,500, and the 
actual inhabitants, I was informed from the best 
authority, were 7,000 ; they have established 
a printing-press, and published a newspaper 
called " O Universal," but, as yet, have no 
public library or literary society. 

When the Paulistas first penetrated into this 
region, they found the district here abounded 
in a species of gold that acquired a dark hue 


on exposure to the atmosphere ; this is now 
known, as I have stated/ to arise from an alloy 
of silver, which becomes oxydated or tarnished 
in the air; but the Paulistas called the place 
where it was found, the serra of Ouro Preto, or 
the mountains of black gold. Here they resorted 
in great numbers, and in 1711, they built a 
town on the spot, under the direction of Antonio 
Dias, and called it by the same name as the 
mountain. The quantity of gold found soon 
rendered it famous ; it became the common 
centre of attraction for speculators from all parts, 
and from its distinguished opulence changed its 
name to Villa Rica, or the rich city, and was 
recognized as the capital of the Minas Geraes, 
and the residence of the governor. In 1823, 
it was determined to erect all capitals of pro- 
vinces into cities, and a decree was then issued 
for changing its name into Imperial Cidade do 
Ouro Preto. The principal Caza de Fundacao, 
or gold foundry of the province, was established 
here, to which sixteen officers are attached, 
among whom are three founders and two as- 
sayers ; the receipts of this have been astonish- 
ingly augmented within these few years by the 
per centage paid by the Gongo Soco Company 
on the gold they raised, which amounted in the 
year 1827, to 20,982/. 6*. 8d, 


The great depository of wealth was the 
sands in the bottom below the town. Here, 
after rain, immense deposits of the precious 
metal were found ; and an old person informed 
me, he remembered to have seen the whole 
population among the sands, after a period of 
heavy rains, raking, scraping, and fighting, and, 
to use his own expression, up to their knees 
in gold-dust. The remains of these auriferous 
inundations are yet visible; the edges of all the 
streams which intersect it, are still covered with 
what appears to be black sand, but on examina- 
tion I found it to be esmeril, or the magnetic 
iron, which is known always to accompany gold- 
dust, and which had been rejected and left 
behind, when the precious grains were extracted. 
The sudden and enormous wealth acquired in 
this way, was soon bruited about with great 
exaggeration : people flocked here till the popu- 
lation at one time amounted to 30,000 persons ; 
large edifices were every where erected by the 
residents, and grand hotels for the visiters ; and 
to a stranger, the town really appeared the most 
opulent in the world. 

After some time, however, the source of its 
opulence began to fail, the currents brought 
down but a scanty and irregular supply, and the 
disappointed speculators were ruined. A few 


fortunate adventurers succeeded in lighting on 
rich streams, and built fine edifices ; and others, 
equally sanguine, did the same by anticipation, 
and were disappointed. In the meantime the 
riches on the surface were neglected for the 
imaginary ones they expected from below ; the 
vegetable soil was destroyed by washing, and 
the capital, which might have converted it into 
permanent wealth, was exhausted in visionary 
projects; and the inhabitants, without arable 
land or means to cultivate it, became a nest of 
beggars, and the town a heap of ruins, as in- 
famous for its crimes, as it had been famous for 
its riches. It was filled with needy gamblers in 
gold; their moral habits, like those of all who 
live at hazard, were totally depraved, and they 
became robbers and assassins ; scarce a night 
passed that murders were not perpetrated in the 
streets, and a respectable inhabitant informed 
me, that all the atrocities detailed in the English 
newspapers in a year, did not amount to those 
which were perpetrated unnoticed in the dark 
alleys of Villa Rica. By degrees, however, these 
desperadoes were all absorbed ; they were either 
killed off, or they abandoned the place, till the 
population was reduced from thirty to seven 
thousand, at which it still remains. This remnant, 
taught by experience, are wisely directing their 


attention to other and more profitable objects ; 
it is now a thriving and industrious place, and 
has changed its ill-omened and ill-applied name 
for that of another. 

It was in the midst of the rainy season I 
visited it ; and I expected to have seen, as I had 
heard, that the whole population would be 
raking in the sands. They were reduced, how- 
ever, to a few negroes belonging to persons who 
still lingered in their old habits, and obtained 
a few patacs a-day by their petty speculations. 
Some of them were turning up the stones, and 
eagerly watching what would appear under 
them. Some were boys riddling sand in a bowl ; 
they were young gamblers, who were betting 
copper coins about the quantity of gold they 
should find in the bowl, and were as fiercely 
excited as the fellows we see in the outlets of 
London, playing pitch and toss. One group 
consisted of an old negro and his wife, now past 
their labour, but who had pursued gold-finding 
in this place for the last half century. We asked 
him what he had found ; he shook his head and 
said, nada — " nothing." 

The population in the town was otherwise en- 
gaged. I stopped at a brazier's shop, who was 
fabricating pots and kettles, from sheet-copper 
sent from England. He exalted his manu- 


factured metal, though foreign, above the native 
gold, and soon hoped, he said, to see mines 
of it opened in this place. Beside him was 
a blacksmith, still better employed ; he was 
forging shovels, hammers, hinges, and a variety 
of domestic implements from native iron. He 
was an intelligent, obliging man, talked freely 
and cheerfully with us, agreed that the iron of 
the country was far more valuable than the 
gold, for he said it never could be exhausted, 
since the streets were paved with it; and he 
pointed to the stones ; in fact, every second 
stone before his door, was a mass of iron, so 
rich, as to appear to be almost in a metallic 
state ; and indeed, most of the ore found in 
the country, yields from eighty to ninety per 
cent., and has besides the peculiar advantage 
of being immediately malleable, and fit for the 
fabrication of all kinds of implements. 

It does not at all appear, that the native 
Indians were apprised of the properties of iron, 
or had ever applied it to use, as their fishing- 
hooks, and other implements, had been made 
of gold, a metal more obvious in its primitive 
state, and more easily wrought upon. It was, 
however, long known to the Portuguese Bra- 
zilians, who worked it up into some trifling im- 
plements for their own use ; but the knowledge 


that the country possessed so valuable a metal, 
was for a long time carefully concealed from 
foreigners. To such an extent was this jea- 
lous precaution carried, that even the natives 
were strictly prohibited from using it. An in- 
telligent young man, in the Minas Geraes, who 
had made himself acquainted with its properties, 
fabricated a lock from it, and sent it to Por- 
tugal, hoping to receive, as he deserved, a re- 
ward for his ingenuity; instead of which, he 
was severely reprimanded for his presumption, 
and forbidden to fabricate any other article. 
When foreigners, therefore, were first permitted 
to explore the country, they were astonished 
to find a metal, of whose existence they had 
not heard, and began by collecting specimens 
of this precious discovery, till, in a day's jour- 
ney, they became so overloaded, that they cast 
them all away. 

The first iron extracted from the mines of 
Brazil, in any significant quantity, was when the 
foundry of S. Joao de Ipanema was established 
in the comarca of Sorocaba, in the province 
of St. Paul's. Before that period, the Bra- 
zilians were obliged to import it, for every pur- 
pose of war or peace, for arms and utensils. 
Gold was the only metal sought after, which 
was afterwards given in exchange for foreign 


iron, though the metal was in profuse abun- 
dance, even on the surface of the soil in every 
district. In the year 1818, Dom John brought 
over some Swedish miners, and under the di- 
rection of Colonel Frederic Varnagem, who 
deserves to be considered among the benefactors 
of the country, the object of manufacturing 
native iron was accomplished. 

The great impediment which had prevented 
the Brazilians from working their own mines, 
was the refractory nature of the metal, and 
the difficulty of smelting it. Their knowledge 
and practice of metallurgy, was confined to gold, 
which every one found already in a metallic 
state, and the small grains were easily melted 
into ingots. They now, for the first time, 
erected in the country lofty air furnaces, of 
fire-proof materials, capable of resisting a violent 
degree of heat ; and the effects detailed in the 
Brazilian aimals, seem as if they were supposed 
to be something miraculous. In October, 1818, 
the first fire was lighted in the furnaces, and 
on the 27th of the month, ore was introduced. 
On the 30th, the bellows began to blow ; and, 
on the 1st of November, the day of All-saints, 
the metal was seen to run for the first time, 
at nine o'clock in the morning, just before the 
celebration of mass, and it was announced 


in the chapel by the shouts of the congrega- 

The immediate result of this wonderful suc- 
cess, as it was deemed, was to cast a gigantic 
cross of the first fusion of the metal, weighing 
eight quintals, to be placed on the summit of 
the Garrassoavo mountain. A solemn proces- 
sion was formed to conduct it to its station, 
where it was erected as a grand memorial in 
this conspicuous place. The greatest expec- 
tation was entertained from this foundry. It 
was distant only four days from water-carriage, 
and it was expected that it would supersede 
the consumption of all other iron in Brazil, 
and afford the most abundant supply to other 
countries. The natives were fully sensible of 
the value and importance of this establishment, 
which they considered a new epocha in the 

* The "Investigator," a periodical work of the day, thus expresses 
itself: — " The smelting of iron forms a grand era of glory and future 
wealth to Brazil ; and having taken this important step, the country 
must advance rapidly to the rank of a great nation. Of all the 
benefits which Brazil has received from the heroic passage of the 
throne of Portugal to the territories of America, none is to be com- 
pared to this, either in its present or the fecundity of its future profits, 
so that in our opinion, the whole of the iron extracted from this first 
attempt should be cast into a gigantic pyramid, to be placed on the 
mountain that produced it, to attest not only to Brazil, but to the 
remotest posterity, the memorable epocha of their first labours." 


About eight miles from Villa Rica, on the 
estate of Antonio Pereira, the roads are com- 
posed of iron rust ; and in the vicinity, is a 
mountain of compact iron-stone, of specular 
haematites. This iron is of a very peculiar 
property ; and it appears, by some experiments 
made at Gongo Soco, that it is so rich, that it 
forms at once malleable iron, and can with 
difficulty be reduced to the intermediate state 
of pig. 

The rich ore is of three kinds — the jacotinga, 
or compact blue iron-stone, grey iron sand- 
stone, and a species called brown-crust. When 
these were roasted, and the aluminous and sili- 
cious parts destroyed, they were subjected to the 
magnet, and found to be very rich in metal, 
and they were put, with charcoal and limestone 
as a flux, into a furnace. The metal poured 
down in the usual time in a state of fusion, 
and on examining the quality of the iron so 
obtained, it was not found as expected — pig 
or cast iron, which required a second process 
before it could be used for the fabrication 
of different tools, but it was perfectly malleable, 
and so ready for the hammer. This, which 
would appear a favourable circumstance in 
general, was a great disappointment to the 
foundry ; for the great object was to obtain 


materials for different parts of machinery which 
are only formed of cast iron. 

The difference between cast and malleable 
iron, is this ; that the pig contains a certain 
proportion of carbon, on which its friability 
depends, and its capability for being recast into 
whatever form is required ; and that bar, or mal- 
leable iron, is produced by a subsequent process 
of refining, which is done by expelling the 
carbon. But it appears that the carbon here 
always escaped in the first instance, leaving, as 
Mr. Baird says, " a very fine malleable iron 
behind, superior to any he had seen in the 
furnaces in England." 

About fourteen leagues, or sixty-eight miles 
north from Villa Rica, is the estate of Gongo 
Soco. It is situated in a beautiful vale, 
and about four miles in length, and two in 
breadth. On one side is a chain of auriferous 
hills, covered with wood, and on the other, 
hills and vales of pasture, surrounded by more 
distant mountains, so as to form a circular in- 
closure. Through the centre runs a rivulet. 
The banks of this stream were, at first, the only 
portion of the estate where gold was searched 
for ; and, like other lavras of the country, bear 
marks of the extent to which they were washed. 
The first person who established himself here 


as a miner, was a Portuguese of the name of 
Bittencourt, who, about the year 1740, began 
to work the soil with his own hands, and in a 
short time became so rich that he purchased 
many slaves, and sent to Portugal for his ne- 
phew, Manoel Camara, whom he left his sole 
heir. His sons inherited the property, and 
soon fell into those habits of dissipation which 
such property generally entails in Brazil ; so 
that the estate was sold for 9,000 cru- 
sados, and bought by capitao mor, Joze Alves, 
twenty years ago. This new proprietor, being 
a more intelligent man than usual, imagined 
that he was only extracting the mere refuse 
of the gold, and leaving untouched the source 
from whence it proceeded. He therefore 
searched the hills above, and found in a wood, 
large lumps of the metal in micaceous iron-stone ; 
and on washing away the surface, he discovered 
a lode of the same auriferous iron-stone, equally 
rich, and about forty feet broad ; the fragments 
of which, he justly supposed, had furnished the 
earth below with its golden particles. This dis- 
covery soon spread, and a village was formed 
in the vale by a concourse of people, who came 
here to live on washing again, the muddy de- 
posits rejected by the proprietor. 

In the year 1818, he began to work more 


systematically,, and followed the direction of the 
lode, by pushing levels. By these means he 
discovered certain circular deposits, formed by 
the concurrence of veins, which yielded col- 
lections of gold in a quantity hitherto unknown. 
So that in 1824, in one month, he is said to 
have taken out 480 pounds. The whole estate 
was found to be generally of this quality. In 
the common pastures were seen pyrites of 
sulphuret of iron, containing much gold, and 
all the hills were ascertained to be rich in the 
metal, and the soil below every where impreg- 
nated with its deposit. 

Having heard of the great riches of this es- 
tate, the Imperial Brazilian Mining Company, 
formed in England, sent Mr. Edward Oxenford, 
with competent miners, to examine it in 1825. 
Their report was very favourable. They found 
the mine had been worked with more science 
than usual, in Brazil. Three levels had been 
pushed into the mountain ; one of which ex- 
tended fifty or sixty yards. The lodes con- 
sisted of jacotinga, a dark brown-red oxyde of 
iron and manganese, very soft, rather of a sapo- 
naceous or greasy feel, and washed and worked 
without difficulty. This corpo da formacao was 
forty yards wide ; a quart measure of it was 
taken up, and washed in their presence by 


negroes, when it was found to contain 278 grains 
of gold, some of a large size. It was calculated 
by Mr. Tregoning, chief miner, that the labour 
of 100 men would extract from this mass, ten 
hundred weight of the metal in a year, as every 
fathom of the formacao would yield one pound 
of pure gold. 

Besides the riches of the jacotinga, gold 
in great abundance was found to exist in a 
matrix of thick veins of quartz, situated in a 
part of the estate called Morro Grande ; and 
a stamping mill had been erected by the pro- 
prietor, for the purpose of pounding and ex- 
tracting the grains. But the other was so much 
more easily worked, and had latterly yielded 
such abundance, that the more difficult process 
had been abandoned, and the mill remained 
without being applied to any purpose. 

Having been satisfied by the ocular inspec- 
tion of competent persons, that the report was 
not exaggerated, proposals were made to the 
proprietor. His first demand was a million of 
crusados, or about 90,000/. The bargain, how- 
ever, was finally concluded for 300,000 milreis, 
or about 70,000/. A petition was presented to 
the emperor to sanction this agreement, which 
was obtained on the 16th of September, 1824, 

VOL. II. p 


and the company took the name of the " Im- 
perial Brazilian Mining Association." 

Besides the estate of Gongo Soco, the asso- 
ciation purchased those of Inficionado, or Catas 
Pretas, and Antonio Pereira. The latter is 
within eight miles of Villa Rica, and in part of 
the serra of Ouro Preto. A melancholy story 
is connected with it. About thirty years ago, 
the proprietor, Antonio Pereira, sunk a shaft 
ten bracas or fathoms deep ; and coming sud- 
denly on a very rich deposite, he continued 
eagerly to pursue it, without waiting to take 
precautions to secure the shaft above. On one 
evening they discovered a vein so rich, that in 
about an hour just before dark, they extracted 
from it gold, to the value of three thousand mil- 
reis ; and they looked forward to the morning 
to appropriate the vast treasure below. But a 
restless cupidity to be possessed of it at once, 
would not suffer them to allow a moment's 
delay; and the foreman with several slaves 
continued below, labouring all night at the 
golden discovery. When the proprietor has- 
tened early in the morning to the shaft, there 
was no trace of it to be seen ; the ill-secured 
earth had closed over those who were under- 
mining it below, and the treasure and the 


workmen were buried ten fathom deep in the 
mountain. Several efforts were afterwards 
made to come again at this spot, and large sums 
of money expended by Simao Fereira, and 
other persons in succession, but hitherto without 
effect ; and it remains for the Gongo Soco com- 
pany to find it. It will be a discovery of no 
common interest to come on this treasure 
again, covered up with a mass of human bodies, 
if they yet remain undecayed. 

The working of the Gongo Soco mine, has 
not disappointed expectation. The gold is 
found in the formacao of jacotinga, of various 
degrees of induration ; sometimes as compact as 
iron-stone, and sometimes as soft as clay. In 
the former case it is stamped like quartz ; in 
the latter the miners bring it up, by filling their 
large leathern hats, and then washing the mass 
in the usual way. The gold is occasionally 
found as it is in the mines of Lagoa Dourado : 
a number of filaments radiate from a common 
centre ; and on pursuing one of these threads, 
it frequently leads to a nucleus sometimes of an 
ounce weight, from which they issue in all 
directions. The workings are confined to 
about sixty yards of ground, and run about six 
feet below those of the former proprietor. The 
quantity obtained, according to the last report, 

p 2 


to the proprietors, from January to June, 1829, 
was 2037 lbs. 4oz. 12dwts. 15grs., so that the 
anticipations of Mr. Tregoning are likely to be 
realized. The gold, however, is not so pure 
as the specimens raised at S. Jos£, being only 
of about nineteen carats. 

The number of Englishmen located there 
amounts to about one hundred and eighty ; and 
the blacks and others employed in the works, 
form a population of upwards of six hundred 
persons ; the whole under the superintendence 
of Captain Lyons. The estate nearly contains 
within itself the means of their support. The 
river of S. Joao runs through it, and its 
smaller branches supply abundant streams and 
water-courses ; at Fazenda Velha is a large 
tract of arable land sufficient to raise produce ; 
and at the Logoa das Antas are extensive pas- 
tures for cattle. Already they form a conside- 
rable village, which is hourly increasing; the 
foundation of a church has been laid, and if the 
speculation succeed progressively, as it has 
begun, an English town will soon expand itself 
in the interior of Brazil. The Bishop of London 
has appointed a chaplain to proceed to Gongo 
Soco, to administer to the spiritual comforts 
of the colony. 

The benefits resulting to the Brazilians are 



such, as they ought duly to appreciate. The 
revenue which the government already derives 
from it is important. The duty paid in De- 
cember, 1827, at the caza da fundacao in Villa 
Rica, was 20,982/. 6s. 8d., a sum equal to the 
value of all the gold raised in the comarca 
of Rio das Mortes, and passed into the caza 
of S. Joao d'el Rey in the same year. The 
duty on gold, paid at the caza da fundacao of 
Sahara, for the last quarter of the year 1825, 
was one ounce ! — This fact, which is officially 
known to be correct, speaks volumes in favour 
of the advantages to the country, from the 
establishment of the foreign mining companies. 
The company also leave a deposit of 21,688/., 
of which the Brazilian government have the 
use, and for which they pay no interest. 

The introduction of so many white men into 
a country where the preponderance of the black 
population is so alarming, is an acquisition 
continually increasing in value and importance 
as the colony extends ; while the improved 
implements of every kind which they use, the 
machinery they set in motion, the expertness 
in manual dexterity at which they arrive, and 
the abridgment of labour which they effect, are 
lessons of the greatest value to the natives in 


every process of exertion in which they are 

But above all it appears to me, that abstract- 
ing the natives from the pursuit of gold them- 
selves, will be one of the most important 
benefits that foreign companies will confer. 
The metal will be sought on its proper site, and 
not on the arable soil, which God designed for 
other uses, by enduing it with fertility to raise 
food for man. Instead of destroying this bounty 
of a good Providence as they have hitherto 
done, in their rude and clumsy process, and 
employing their time and property in ruinous 
and gambling speculations, they will turn their 
land and industry to their proper uses, in raising 
produce for the consumption of those, who are 
more rationally and harmlessly engaged, in 
searching for gold in the sterile bowels of the 

The celebrated deputy, Vasconcellos, con- 
sidered by his countrymen the Franklin or 
Adams of Brazil, is one of the deputies for 
the province, and lives in Villa Rica; I had 
letters to him from friends at Rio, and so was 
glad to avail myself of an opportunity of paying 
him a visit. His house is at the court end. 
When I inquired for him, his secretary informed 


me he was engaged, but he said he would take 
in any message. I sent my letters, and sat 
down in the ante-chamber. Presently a door 
opened, and he made his appearance. He 
came up to me with the familiarity of an old 
acquaintance, took me cordially by the hand, 
and led me into his apartment, set me on a 
chair, and then sat opposite to me, looking 
me full in the face. He is a low, strong-built 
man, about forty-five, rather corpulent, with 
a strong-marked determined countenance, sal- 
low complexion, dark eyes, projecting under-lip, 
with a profusion of black hair curling about 
his face. He was wrapped up in a plaid cloak, 
and old shoes for slippers ; but accounted for 
his dishabille by saying, he laboured under 
a severe affection of his chest. At first, a 
considerable embarrassment occurred between 
us ; he spoke only Portuguese, in which I 
could answer but very imperfectly, and we were 
likely to derive but little information from each 
other. I observed, however, that he spoke, 
as he said, a little French. His manners were 
as simple as those of a child, and I literally 
coaxed him to converse in that language. He 
began with timidity, measuring his words, and 
whenever he made a mistake, went back and 
corrected himself, as if he was composing an 


exercise ; by degrees, however, this wore off, 
and he expressed himself with great ease and 
precision. He requested me to spend the 
evening with him, and we returned at six 

He entertained us with liqueurs, conserves, 
and Minas cheese, and we passed a very agree- 
able evening ; but I was concerned to find he 
was one of those, who cherished against England 
considerable prejudices. He was sorry, he said, 
to hear that the English government was hostile 
to Brazil and its constitution. I replied, that 
I thought he had no reason to imagine that, 
for the conduct of England had been always 
decidedly favourable and friendly. He inferred 
it, he said, from the distinguished manner in 
which Dom Miguel had been received. I asked 
him if he had not heard of the equally distin- 
guished manner in which Dona Maria had 
been received? He said he had not, for the 
accounts had not yet reached Villa Rica. He 
then spoke of the English constitution, which 
he criticized severely, and gave his own greatly 
the preference, particularly in the mode of 
electing members, where no influence could be 
exerted ; and he mentioned himself as an example 
of a man decidedly opposed to government, yet 
elected a deputy in a town, where that influence 


was most powerful. I spoke of the mining 
companies as likely to benefit the country by the 
introduction of European habits and improved 
modes ; he could not agree with me even in 
this, but said, their efforts were to abstract its 
wealth, to the prejudice of native speculators. 
In effect, I found him strongly imbued with 
old Brazilian prejudices, and not at all so well 
disposed towards us, as his fellow deputy, the 
ouvidor of S. Joao d'el Rey. 

His apartment was hung round with framed 
engravings, of different views in England, and 
I asked him why he was not more favourably 
disposed to a country, of which he had so many 
memorials about him : he said, they were not 
his selection ; his father was a Portuguese, and 
he had brought them from Lisbon. Although 
his general feeling of prejudice was so strong, 
I found him exceedingly urbane, with a great 
mixture of kindness and good nature, and a 
wish to render me any service, if I remained 
long, or proceeded further. We did not part 
till a late hour; and, notwithstanding the bad 
reputation of the town, we made our way home 
in the dark, without any accident. 

Vasconcellos, as a deputy, possesses perhaps 
the greatest influence in Brazil. Of the seven- 
teen members which the Minas Geraes send 


to the chamber, he is always the first on the 
list ; and in the returns made a few days before, 
he had 677 votes, where others had only 209. 
On the change of ministry, in June 1828, he 
had been invited to accept the situation of 
minister of justice, but had declined. It is 
among the inconsistencies of Vasconcellos, that 
he is an advocate for the slave-trade ; and the 
treaty with England for its total abolition in 
a short time, and the supposed intention to 
enforce it, were among the causes for his indis- 
position towards us. On the day before I 
visited him, he had made a motion in the 
council-general of the province, for the neces- 
sity of extending the period marked for the 
cessation of the slave-trade. He stated that 
the province had been so scourged (flagel- 
lada) by the oppressive enrolments of her 
young men, and the ruinous expeditions of 
troops, that " the population was greatly dimi- 
nished, not only by the abstraction of so many 
hands, but by the abandonment of others, 
who fled to avoid the same oppression, and 
slaves were absolutely necessary to supply the 
want of them." This, as a local reason, was 
true and plausible ; but he concluded his speech 
by defending the principle. " They exclaim," 
said he, " against the injustice of this commerce, 


and they give as examples, the immorality of 
some nations who have admitted it ; but it 
has not been demonstrated, that slavery demo- 
ralizes a nation in the degree that exaggeration 
represents it. A comparison of Brazil with 
nations who have not slaves, will put this be- 
yond doubt." He then suggested that the 
Brazilian government should treat with that of 
England, about the prorogation of the law, and 
moved that the council-general of the province 
should represent the absolute necessity of de- 
ferring the period, when the commerce of slaves 
should be abolished, as, by the fourth section 
of the eightieth article of the constitution, it 
could not have effect, since it had not been pre- 
sented to the general assembly, after its con- 
clusion, and before its ratification. 

Next day we set out on our return. Our 
metallic money was exhausted, and we prof- 
fered our host a note ; but he would have no- 
thing to do with it, and insisted on his pound 
of copper with as much determination, as Shylock 
did his pound of flesh. There was a house 
in the street where Rio notes were discounted, 
and we requested him to send it there, and 
laid it on the counter of his vencla for that pur- 
pose ; but he shook his hands wide of it, and 
would not touch it ; so, finding his horror of 


paper insurmountable, we sent Patricio, who 
returned with a clerk, a civil young man, who 
explained to us that paper could not be ex- 
changed for metal, but at a discount of thirty 
per cent. To this we agreed, and received 
for 10,000 reis, 6,200 in copper cobres, of two 
vintems each ; a cobre being the great circu- 
lating coin of the Minas Geraes. We expected 
to have been paid in gold in this auriferous 
city at least, but a gold coin was unknown 
there in circulation, and could not be obtained, 
we were told, even at a discount of 200 per 
cent. It was a singular fact, that the only 
money to be found, in the midst of a country 
more abounding with gold and other metals, 
than any other in the world, should be bits 
of copper raised and manufactured in England. 
To compensate for the disappearance of gold, 
a paper currency was substituted, and a bank 
established at S. Joao d'el Rey. Notes were 
issued, so low, I believe, as half a patac, or 
160 reis, so that the province, a few years 
ago, was deluged with such money. This has 
now ceased ; but the people have ever since 
set their faces decidedly against paper, and it 
accounts for the horror of our host when we 
tendered it to him. 

We left the imperial city in the same deluge 


of rain we had entered it, and it continued 
without intermission during our return. Our 
way sometimes lay under ledges of rocks, where 
only a narrow path afforded us a passage ; the 
water poured from the ledge over our heads 
as if it came from the .eaves of a house ; so 
that for a mile together, we sometimes were 
obliged to ride slowly, under a constant sheet 
of cataract. Patricio carried the whole way 
clothes and blankets for us in a waterproof 
bag, and we had always a dry change when we 
stopped for the night ; but he had no such 
thing, and took no care for himself. He bore 
on his head nearly a hundred weight, under 
which he moved erect with an incessant creep- 
ing pace, so that if you looked at his body only, 
he seemed gliding along; he always led the 
way without the smallest appearance of fatigue, 
and had frequently to stop till we came up with 
him. When arrived at a resting place, he 
sometimes had to make his way into the woods, 
to cut fodder for the starving horses, and came 
back in the dark with a load of capim do mato 
on his head. Wet or dry, was all one to him. 
After an inclement day, and what would be to 
another an exhausting fatigue, he ate a few 
feijaos, lay down in his wet shirt on a mat or 
a bull's hide, and had every thing ready for our 


departure before light in the morning. In 
passing through the woods he had always some- 
thing rare or curious to show me. On one 
occasion, he suddenly turned off the path and 
disappeared in a dense forest. Knowing his 
mysterious ways we did not mind him ; but he 
re-appeared at some distance before us, bearing 
in his hand a branch, loaded with the most 
beautiful fruit I had ever beheld. It was about 
the size and shape of a pear, covered with the 
downy skin of a peach, of the richest red and 
golden hue. The flesh of the fruit was a juicy 
pulp, of a cooling acid taste, and, with sugar, 
quite delicious. He called it preboora. I pene- 
trated with him to examine the tree on which 
it grew. It was about seven feet high, with 
rotund alternate leaves, slightly serrated. I 
wished to see another tree, if possible, to exa- 
mine its fructifications, but he knew of no other 
in these woods than that single one. The fruit 
contained three large kernel seeds inside, which 
I tried to preserve ; but I could not dry them, 
and they moulded and decayed. 

On our return to S. Jose, I was anxious to 
take Patricio with me on to Rio, as there was 
something in his Indian nature that greatly 
pleased me, and I could so firmly rely on his 
fidelity and sagacity ; but he had conceived a 


great aversion to the capital, since he had been 
taken ill there : besides, he had obtained a small 
sum of money, and his delight was to live at his 
ease while it lasted, and again to return to the 
woods. He appeared the next day after our 
arrival, in a gay suit of bright-coloured cotton ; 
and even if he were not disinclined to come, I 
could not take him from his enjoyment. 

Before I finally left S. Jos6, I proceeded to 
visit some caverns about four miles from the 
town. They were formed in a ridge of lime- 
stone rocks, issuing from the mato, and consisted 
of several large and tortuous excavations, by 
which we entered at one side and issued at the 
other. The roof was covered with pendant 
cones ; some we found were stalactites, and 
some the nests of moribundos, or hornets, 
which hung down in long sacks, each being 
a populous city swarming with dangerous inha- 
bitants. It appeared in many places as if sup- 
ported by pillars ; they were formed of stalag- 
mite, which, commencing in a drip from the 
roof, had formed columns, whose base rested on 
the floor ; they were of a very pure carbonate of 
lime, and so numerous that they gave the caverns 
in many directions, the appearance of Gothic 
aisles. The ramifications opened into wild glades, 
and wherever we issued we found ourselves in 


some solitary and sequestered recess of the most 
romantic character. In these places were the 
remnants of fire left by fugitive slaves, who make 
them their retreat when they fly to the woods 
round S. Jose ; and nothing seemed better 
adapted for the retreat of a banditti, but it did 
not appear that it had ever been made their 

The appearance of the place deters the timid 
from approaching it, and the negro who attended 
us with a torch-light, stopped at the mouth of 
one of the caverns, and could not be induced to 
follow us. When we pressed him for a reason, 
he said, " It was a place made by God, and not 
by man ; and as he did not know for what pur- 
pose, he did not think it right to enter it." This 
veneration for caverns is universal, I believe, 
among men in a state of nature. 

Lime-stone is as valuable as it is rare in Brazil, 
and in the province of Rio de Janeiro they are 
compelled to use shells as a substitute ; they 
have the finest granite in the world for building, 
but no lime to cement it. It does not appear 
that any use this rock to fertilize the land about 
S. Jose, but in process of time it may be a most 
valuable acquisition. Hitherto they have tried 
but little manure, except the ashes of burnt 
wood, when the trees have been cleared by fire. 


One enterprising man had used stable manure, 
and his plantation was in a most nourishing 
state : he bought it, he said, for 600 miireis; the 
coffee trees were all cankered, and would yield 
nothing, but an acquaintance from England 
advised him to try the sweepings of his stable, 
and by the magic, as he called it, of esterco de 
cavallo, his whole plantation was endued with a 
new principle of vegetable life ; and he would 
not dispose of it for as many contos as he had 
paid miireis for the purchase. 

On Saturday, the 10th of January, I set out 
on my return to Rio by a route different from 
that which I had gone, and this was through 
Barbacena and the Estrada d'Estrella. I took 
with me as a guide, Ricardo, a free black, who 
led a mule laden with my portmanteau and a 
large box full of specimens of the different 
mines I had visited, and I took leave of my 
very kind friends at S. Jose. Mr. Milward 
accompanied me for a few miles ; and when he 
departed I found myself in the wide campos, 
ten days' journey from Rio, with no companion 
but a poor despised negro, with whom I could 
hold but imperfect communication ; and having 
a wild country to travel over in that unpro- 
tected state, of which I had heard the most 
lawless character. When therefore I looked 



round on the extensive solitude, where I seemed 
altogether alone, I confess a sense of something 
dismal, and a feeling of desolation came over 
me, as that of a stranger in the deserts of an 
unknown land, through which he was doubtful 
whether he could make his way, over the almost 
interminable plains and impenetrable woods 
that lay before him. In a short time, however, 
this feeling wore off, and I began to enjoy 
that unfading and exhaustless pleasure, which 
the face of nature always gives when presented 
under new and varying aspects. 

The campos had even improved in their 
lovely appearance ; the coarse low grass had 
shot up into long culmes of fructification ; the 
common wild* oat grew with such luxuriance, 
that it ascended considerably higher than my 
head on horseback, and Ricardo and the mule 
were completely buried in it ; the chelonef hung 
its arched head of pendant bells, as thick as 
foxglove in our highlands ; and various species 
of begonia which ornament our conservatories, 
covered the ground. We passed the chapel of 
Padre Achepe, situated on the summit of a hill, 
and surrounded with lofty palms ; the country 
about had an improved and pastoral appearance, 

* Avena sterilis. f Chelone barbata. 


and a greater number of horses and cows 
grazing on the downs, than we had yet seen 
together. From hence we descended into a 
valley ; at the bottom of which, on the banks 
of a stream, is situated the arrayal of Pinto, 
twelve miles from S. Jose. The houses were 
enclosed by gardens, among which were 
orchards of peach trees. A boy came up to 
know if I would purchase some ; and he pro- 
duced several that he had under his arm-pits, 
as I suppose to ripen, but I begged to decline 
his offer. Towards evening we crossed the 
stream of the Widasmaoth, about thirty yards 
wide, and arrived at the fazenda of Barroza, 
when it was nearly dark, and, as usual, under 
torrents of rain. 

This was kept by a mulatto woman sur- 
prisingly fat, the wrinkles of flesh on the upper 
part of her arms hanging down in folds over her 
elbows ; and the rotundity of her whole person 
such, that I think in England there never was 
exhibited for a show, a more corpulent figure. 
The large area before the door was a spacious 
swine yard, and this was one of the farms round 
S. Jos6, where an immense number of pigs 
formed the whole stock. These animals were 
so ravenous, that they attacked the horse and 
mule while eating their milho, which they 



devoured before Ricardo and I, with sticks and 
stones, could compel them to desist. Used as 
I had been to the discomfort of Brazilian tra- 
velling, this place was new in its ofFensiveness. 
It had all the accessories of a large stye : the 
dirt and strong odour of the pigs, their incessant 
screaming and grunting, the rude and scowling 
looks of some of the mulatto family within, and 
their uncleanly habits, rendered it the most 
comfortless place I had yet been in ; and the 
feeling that I was here alone, and for the first 
time without a companion, added not a little 
to its dreariness. 

It thundered, lightened, and rained in tor- 
rents ; the pigs screamed, the dogs howled, and 
the mulattoes scolded all night, and so effectually 
murdered sleep, that I lay awake till a welcome 
gleam of the sky announced that I might de- 
part. My corpulent landlady, however, was 
not such a churl as I had supposed, from her 
manners and occupation. She had ready for 
me a smoking dish of fat pork and rice, and 
was quite surprised and disappointed, when she 
found I could not eat it. Ricardo, however, 
had a better appetite, and despatched it to her 
satisfaction ; and when I was taking my leave, 
the good-natured old lady put her hand toward 
me and blessed me. 


About eight miles from hence, we arrived at 
the solitary fazenda of Cangayera. This was 
kept by a senhora of whom Ricardo spoke 
highly. She had lived at Barbacena, and so 
had received a town education ; she was hos- 
pitable, and would give a stranger his break- 
fast. The farm-house was situated in a pretty 
pastoral lawn, skirted by a wood, and looked 
very pleasant after the dismal place I had left; 
so I entered it and asked if I might have re- 
freshment. The lady herself appeared. She 
was young, fat, and comely ; wore neither shoes 
nor stockings, but was clad in a gown of snow- 
white muslin, with a gold chain, and large 
ear-rings. Her manners were lady-like and 
cordial, but very modest and proper. She 
spread a cloth for me in her porch, and pro- 
duced farinha, milk, and fresh eggs ; and as I 
had coffee and sugar, I made a luxuriant meal. 

In about half an hour we arrived at the river 
Cangayera, from whence the fazenda takes its 
name. This was deep and rapid, and without 
a bridge. Here we found the whole way ob- 
structed by six teams, each drawn by ten oxen, 
and laden with large planks of jacaranda wood. 
On the leading team was the young senhora, to 
whom they belonged ; she was dressed in a flesh- 
coloured pelisse, with a very broad white beaver 


hat, banded with black crape ; she sat astride 
on one of the planks, as if she was on horse- 
back, and was a figure altogether as strange, as 
the carriage in which she rode. The manage- 
ment of these immense unwieldy teams was very 
dexterous. They had to descend a steep hill into 
the river, and ascend another as steep when they 
passed over, and this with a very heavy weight, 
and through deep and almost impassable mud. 
They proceeded, one at a time, down the bank 
into the stream, where they remained for a 
short time standing, with nothing but their heads 
out of the water. When they had rested 
awhile, they were then urged up the other side 
with shouts, goads, and lashes, and when the 
driver saw any one lagging, he forced him on with 
great judgment and dexterity. In this way the 
whole passed over a strong current, with steep 
muddy banks, apparently impassable for such 
machines. We were obliged to stand by in a 
copse till it came to our turn. The first step 
into the water was up to the saddle, and we 
swam and splashed through at the hazard of 
being carried off by a deep and rapid stream, as 
frequently happens here. For near an hour 
after we heard the creaking sound of the carts, 
before it died away in the distant mato. 

From hence we entered some of the most 


expanded campos we had yet seen, where we 
gradually ascended till we gained the summit of 
an elevated plain, from whence the prospect was 
most magnificent ; to the west was the serra of 
S. Jose, distant about thirty-five miles, and, as 
distinct as if we were just at its base ; to the north- 
east was the serra of Santa Rita, distant about 
fifty miles, like the ridge of a vast hay-stack on 
the horizon ; to the north was the serra of Ouro 
Preto, distant sixty miles, with the singular pro- 
tuberance of Ita Columi, quite discernible in 
the clear atmosphere, though at that great 
distance. The whole space circumscribed be- 
tween those ridges, was an expanded undulat- 
ing plain of various elevations, forming, under 
the clear light, a very joyous prospect of a 
lovely country. Here we met those birds called 
boraloo, a species of kite of a brown colour, 
but the hooked beaks and claws, with the 
feathers of the tails and wings, of a bright 
yellow. They are always found in pairs, and 
are so tame and inapprehensive of danger, that 
I almost rode over one before it moved out of 
my way. In this region also, we saw a species 
of grouse highly esteemed in Brazil ; the birds 
are salted and sent to Rio, where they are 
considered a great luxury. 

Descending from our elevation we arrived, 


at eleven o'clock, at the town of Barbacena, from 
which the nobleman so well known lately in 
England takes his title. It stands on the slope 
of a hill, totally denuded of trees, and has that 
naked and unsheltered aspect which most of the 
towns present. It is not built in a very compact 
manner. It has two broad streets meeting each 
other at right angles, and the houses elsewhere 
are scattered about at random. The appearance 
of the place, however, is respectable, and is one 
of the few in the interior that has in its aspect 
the air and look of a town. It contains about 
300 whitewashed houses, with a large matriz, 
which caused it to be originally called Igrega 
Nova, or new church. It has besides, three 
other chapels. By an alvara of the 24th of 
February, the title of villa, or city, was conferred 
upon it, and it was denominated " nobre e 
muito leal" — noble and very loyal ; for its decided 
spirit exerted against the enemies of Brazil. 
In this district are several olive plantations, and 
the people raise large herds of cattle, and exer- 
cise other branches of industry. 

But the circumstance which gave it most 
importance was, that it was on the high road 
leading from the capital to the Minas Geraes, 
and the point whence those to S. Joao del Rey 
and Villa Rica branch off; so that it was the 


centre of communication, between the most im- 
portant parts of the province, through which 
salt, and goods of foreign and domestic manu- 
facture were conveyed. Since the new and 
more direct road, however, has been completed 
through Rio Preto, the crowd of passengers has 
taken that direction, and the consequence of 
Barbacena has declined. S. Joao has some 
enterprising merchants, who have drawn all the 
internal commerce from this place, and with the 
exception of some trade in domestic cotton and 
cattle, it does little else. 

The first Englishman, I believe, who had 
ever penetrated as far as this town, was Mr. 
Mawe, in the year 1809, and he was an object 
of no small curiosity to the people. Their shops 
were even then stocked with English goods, but 
they had never seen before any of the people 
who manufactured them, and they crowded 
round him as a very extraordinary sight. This 
curiosity has not yet entirely subsided, for the 
people all ran to their doors to gaze at me as 
I passed by. It was Sunday, and though they 
were dressed in their best, they were not idle ; 
several women had their distaffs twirling in their 
hands, preparing thread for the domestic manu- 
facture of cotton carried on here, and I saw a 
negress engaged at a loom. Being very thirsty, 


I stopped at a venda to purchase some oranges. 
There was but one to be had, which a respec- 
table woman had just bought. I was turning 
away, but she immediately brought it out to 
me to the horse's side, pressed it kindly on me, 
in a manner that I could not refuse, and would 
accept no payment for it. These instances of 
good nature and kindly feeling to a stranger, I 
constantly met with, and often in things not 
so trifling. 

As the day was yet young, I wished to proceed 
further, and since we had now got into the great 
road of the Estrada d'Estrella, we expected to 
find ranchos, with places of accommodation at 
the end of every mile. From S. Jose to Barbacena, 
a distance of nine leagues, or thirty-six miles, 
we had met with but one, and that exceedingly 
miserable ; but for the first half league on this 
route we found two or three which seemed 
respectable. As we descended a hill, we saw 
at some distance before us, in a smiling valley, 
a number of white houses, which looked very 
cheerful and inviting, and here I proposed to 
rest. This was called Registo, because formerly 
the registry for the examination of all persons 
going to, or returning from the Minas Geraes, 
was established in this place, and I was informed 
that I must here submit to it. On inquiring, 


however, for the office, I found that the re- 
gistry had been removed to a place nearer the 
frontiers of Rio de Janeiro, and that it was now 
held at Mathias Barbosa, many leagues further 
on. The village of Registo, however, still retains 
its appellation, and the Rio das Mortes, which 
runs by it, is called here Rio do Registo 

I found here a venda with quartos and camas, 
which had been fitted up when the registry was 
established here, but had since fallen into a state 
of sad decay. My host was a mulatto, with an 
exceedingly bad countenance. His help-mate 
was a lame negress, corpulent and filthy, with one 
leg shorter than the other ; and the occupant of 
the room next to mine, was the most ill-looking 
fellow I had seen in the country. He was 
dressed in shabby finery, like a decayed gambler 
in gold; and he had an oblique eye, and a 
sinister cast of countenance, that a physiognomist 
would immediately set down to indicate the 
presence of all the bad passions that could be 
found in the moral composition of a man. He 
was very inquisitive to know from Ricardo who 
I was, and where I was going ; and having 
heard I was an Englishman from the mines, he 
lifted the box of minerals, looked mysterious, and 
said he supposed it was full of gold, and then held 


communication, in whispers, with a companion in 
the same room with him, as ill-looking as himself. 
It thundered and lightened, with a deluge of 
rain, all night, but the next morning was clear 
and bright, so I had the cattle at the door at 
sun-rise, and was not ill-pleased to leave a 
place, where I thought myself associated with 
not very eligible company. When I prepared 
to mount my horse, he was dead-lame, and 
could not put his fore-foot to the ground. He 
was perfectly well the evening before, and it 
appeared as if some person had maimed him in 
the course of the night. Here, then, was an 
exceedingly embarrassing situation ; there was 
not one to be bought or hired in the neigh- 
bourhood, and I could neither go on nor return : 
so in this dilemma I dismissed Ricardo back to 
S. Jose, to apprise my friends there, of the state 
in which I was. When I first found myself on 
the broad campos, with no one but him for a 
companion, I thought myself exceedingly deso- 
late in the wilderness ; but when he also left 
me, and I found myself alone, a total stranger, 
ten days' journey from Rio, detained in a place 
where I neither knew the people, the language, 
nor the country, I felt myself as solitary, and as 
incapable of moving from where I was, as if I 
had been shut up in a dismal cell in the strongest 


prison in England ; and I learned to appreciate 
how much the company, even of a poor despised 
negro, can sometimes contribute to our social 
feelings and comforts. 

My two ill-looking neighbours had disap- 
peared in the morning, and their places were 
supplied by two naked little black pickaninnies, 
the children of my host and hostess. These 
creatures had got bits of bamboo, which they 
formed into rude carts, loaded with wood ; and 
their amusement was driving these carts, and 
imitating the creaking of the wheels, which they 
did with the most annoying accuracy, as loud 
and as shrill, and so persevering, that the ur- 
chins were never absent, either from my door 
or my window. The employment of the mother 
was scraping up manure before the door with 
her fingers, and she brought me my dinner of 
rancid pork, in a broken dish, without washing 
her hands. The thunder and lightning again 
began, and the rain came in torrents through 
the cracked roof, and down the ragged walls of 
the miserable hovel in which I was obliged to 
shut myself up, and so passed the first day of 
my confinement, one of the most dismal and 
dreary which I ever remember to have spent. 

On inquiry, I learned the vigario Manoel la 
Droz da Costa lived on the opposite hill; 


so next day I paid him a visit. He was 
the proprietor of the whole fazenda in which 
the village was situated, and his house had heen 
the former registry. I found three men at- 
tending at the door, and when I inquired for 
the padre, they told me he was taking his sesta, 
so I sat down in the hall till he awoke. He 
was then informed that I wished to see him, 
and he came forth. He was tall and thin, 
seemed very old, and was dressed in a short 
jacket and black cap. He received me with 
a suspicious and repulsive look, and did not 
seem disposed to hold any communication with 
a stranger. I asked him if he spoke French or 
Latin, and he said both. I then explained to 
him who I was, and how I was circumstanced, 
and the old man gradually relaxed, and became 
very kind. We stood at first in the hall, but 
he now asked me into his library, showed me 
his books, of which he had a good collection, 
and then introduced me to his saloon, placed 
me on his sofa, and ordered coffee. It was 
accompanied by other refreshments, and among 
them were small loaves of excellent wheaten 
bread, called pao de trigo ; and I found that 
wheat was cultivated with great success on the 
fazenda of the vigario, and to some extent in 
other places in the district. 


His house was spacious, elegant, and well-fur- 
nished, and corresponded with what I had heard 
and seen, that the domestic establishments of 
the parochial clergy are generally the best in 
Brazil. He had in his hall a large English 
clock, whose striking regulated the motions of 
all the village ; and his walls were hung round 
with maps and pictures. He himself seemed 
an intelligent man, and showed me sundry 
French books, of which he pointed out and 
read some passages, and he spoke Latin fluently 
and correctly. After a little time, he invited 
me to play cards, but I declined, and he then 
called in the persons I had seen waiting in the 
hall, who it appeared had come for the purpose, 
and a party was made up. They played at 
ombre. At the commencement, the vigario 
occasionally conversed with me, but in a short 
time the party got so deeply interested in the 
game, that they could think of nothing else. 
They got earnest, noisy, and disposed to be 
quarrelsome, and displayed, in a remarkable 
manner, that gaming propensity for which the 
Brazilians are noted ; and this, I understood, 
was the amusement of the house every day 
at the same hour. I now requested he would 
inform me when any tropero with mules 
passed on their way to Rio, and I would join 


them, and proceed even on foot in their com- 
pany. He promised to do so, and I took my 

The next day a party of people came by, 
forming a very characteristic procession. In 
front was a curtained sedan, carried on poles 
between two mules. Inside, was a veiled lady 
and a child. Next followed a tall thin stately 
cavalleiro, with a large round Spanish hat, 
turned up before, and ornamented with a plume 
of feathers, short mantled cloak, trimmed with 
gold, large puffed breeches, with pink silk 
lining appearing through the slashes, yellow 
boots, and enormous silver spurs ; he was 
attended by two others, dressed nearly in the 
same antique fashion ; then followed huntsmen 
with poles, holding greyhounds in leashes ; and 
behind, a train of other domestics. The whole 
exactly resembled the pictures one sees in the 
early editions of Don Quixote, or Gil Bias, and 
was one of the many instances I had remarked, 
where old manners and costumes were preserved 
in the mountains of Brazil, as they were ori- 
ginally brought over by the early settlers, long 
after they had passed away in the mother- 
country. This was, I found, a baptismal pro- 
cession ; they repaired to the house of the 
vigario to have the ceremony performed. 


The fourth day had now arrived of my deten- 
tion in this dismal place, and I saw no pro- 
bability of being able to leave it. My horse 
continued still lame, and as I had heard nothing 
from my friends at S. Jos£, I thought that some 
accident might have happened to my negro, 
or that he had disappeared in the woods for 
some dishonest purpose — a thing not uncommon 
on such occasions. While I was indulging 
in those unpleasant reflections, on a hill, to 
which I had climbed to look out, like sister 
Ann, to watch if any relief was coming, I saw 
two horsemen hastily descending the opposite 
slope, and to my infinite satisfaction, perceived 
them to be my good friend, Mr. Milward, 
accompanied by Mr. Reye, the secretary of 
the company, and followed by Ricardo, with a 
fresh horse. Immediately on the receipt of 
my letter, with prompt good will, they set out 
themselves to extricate me from my embarrass- 
ments. Some nails were drawn from the shoes 
of my horse, so that he could walk, and in 
an hour more I was again on my way, and took 
leave, for the last time, of my good friends, to 
whose unaffected kindness, and unremitting 
attention, I am greatly indebted. 

My road lay across a bridge, and along the 
banks of the Rio das Mortes on the other side, 



through a well-cultivated country ; and at the 
distance of four miles, we arrived at Borda do 
Campo. This is a poor village of a few houses, 
with all the land about it, however, under tillage ; 
and it has derived its name from the circum- 
stance of its standing on the edge of the vast 
campos, which begin at this spot. Here then 
we left the plains and rocky ridges over which 
I had been travelling for thirty-one days, and 
again penetrated into the mato, or tangled 
thicket of woods and mountains, from which 
we were not again to emerge, till near the end 
of our journey. The road was beautiful and 
pastoral, like some of the lanes leading through 
copses in England ; and in the evening we ar- 
rived at Confisco, where we proposed to stop 
for the night, as the rain, with its usual accom- 
paniments, had set in very violently. 

This place, which is a solitary mansion in the 
wilderness, consisted of a long edifice, having a 
venda, with a quarto attached, and at some dis- 
tance a large rancho. It is situated on a small 
plain, under the ridge of a wooded hill, with a 
grass lawn, skirted with thicket in front, and a 
clear broad stream, tumbling over a pebbled bed, 
bounding it on one side. The house, which was 
neatly kept, had a broad portico, supported on 
rustic pillars ; and the whole, though wild and 


solitary, was exceedingly romantic and pretty. 
My host was a white Brazilian, more pleasing in 
his aspect and manners than most others I had 
met with. He showed me into a comfortable 
quarto, newly plastered with white clay, with 
beds and mats of green bamboo, which were 
fresh and fragrant, and formed a strong con- 
trast with the mouldering filth I had left. When 
supper was ready, he took me kindly and 
courteously by the hand, to an apartment where 
it was laid out on a clean cloth, and well and 
neatly dressed, a stewed fowl with pao de trigo, 
accompanied by green vegetables — a species of 
brassica which he cultivated. 

When I had finished, he invited me to his 
porch, where he brought me some excellent 
coffee, and set a mulatto of his establishment on 
an opposite bench, to play on the guitar for my 
amusement. He then called forth and introduced 
me to his whole family. This consisted of two 
mothers, a black and a white, and twelve chil- 
dren, of all sizes, sexes, and colours ; some with 
woolly hair and dusky faces, some with sallow 
skins and long black tresses. In a short time, 
they made up a ball, and began to dance. It 
was opened by the youngest, Luzia, a child 
about four years old, with dark eyes, and coal- 
black hair. She was presently joined by a 



little black sister, and they commenced with 
a movement, resembling a Spanish bollero, imi- 
tating admirably well the castanets with their 
fingers and thumbs. The movement of the dance 
was not very delicate ; and the children, when 
they began, showed a certain timidity and innate 
consciousness that they were exhibiting before 
a stranger, what was not proper ; but by degrees 
they were joined in succession by all the chil- 
dren, boys and girls, up to the age of seventeen 
and eighteen, and finally by the two mothers 
of the progeny. I never saw such a scene. 
It was realizing what I had heard of the state 
of families in the midst of woods, shut out from 
intercourse with all other society, and forming 
promiscuous connexions with one another, as 
if they were in an early age of the world, and 
had no other human beings to attach themselves 
to. I had personally known some, and I had 
heard of others, brothers and sisters, who 
without scruple or sense of shame, lived to- 
gether, supporting in other respects the decen- 
cies of life ; but here it was carried beyond 
what I could have supposed possible, and this 
precocious family displayed among themselves 
dances, resembling what we have heard of the 
Otaheitan Timordee. I soon retired, but the 
sound of the guitar continued a long time after. 


My host had been rather inquisitive about my 
box of gold ; and I found that here a rumour 
had gone before me, that an Englishman was 
returning from the mines with a rich treasure. 
As such a thing had been often the cause of 
robbery and murder in this country, I began to 
feel not quite at ease, travelling through these 
wild and solitary places, so utterly unprotected, 
and carrying with me such an incentive to hu- 
man cupidity. I fell asleep thinking of this, and 
was suddenly awoke by the loud barking of dogs, 
and presently after by the trampling of horses' 
feet. The troop surrounded the house, and 
seemed to be holding outside a parley in whispers. 
As travellers never ride at night in this country 
except on unlawful designs, and as I had seen 
my host was a man, not restrained in his family 
by very moral ties, I thought it highly probable 
that these were some of his associates coming 
to dispose of my supposed treasure, and I made 
up my mind accordingly. A touch of a foot 
would pass through the wall or the door, and 
I expected every moment to have it applied. 
After waiting, however, some time without, 
they again set forward ; and I need not tell you 
the dying tramp of their horses' feet at a dis- 
tance, was not the least agreeable sound I ever 
heard. The next morning, I interrogated my 


host on the subject of his nocturnal visitors ; 
he was mysterious in his answers, but intimated 
that he supposed they were " nao gente do bem." 
The Brazilians of his class are remarkable for 
protecting those who are under their roof; and 
it is not impossible that I was indebted to this 
immoral man, for some act of kindness in this 

I set out at six, my host taking leave of me 
in a very cordial manner, and giving me direc- 
tions about the road. We had once more 
entered the serra of Mantiquiera; and our 
way lay through mato, and wound along by 
low eminences covered with shrubs, rising be- 
hind into high hills clothed with forests. In 
a very few places marks of cultivation were 
seen on the sides, but in general the aspect 
of the country was unreclaimed wood. Two 
circumstances in the vegetation struck me : 
large patches of our common fern* exclusively 
covering whole acres, like similar spots in 
England, and brambles hanging every where 
over the road bearing blackberries. It was a 
species of rubus,f with plicated leaves, and a 
much more elegant plant than our English one ; 
but I plucked and ate the blackberries as I rode 

* Filix mas. t Rubus occidentalis. 


along, as I would have done in our green 
lanes, which indeed our present road much 
resembled. This circumstance, combined with 
cabbages and other European vegetables flou- 
rishing in the gardens, was a strong proof of the 
similarity of the soil and climate, and a pre- 
sumption that the produce of one, would be 
readily naturalized in the other. We passed Ba- 
talha and several other ranchos, and arrived at 
Mantiquiera about mid-day. As the great serra 
that divides the country for so many hundred 
leagues derives its name from this place, I ex- 
pected to find it a large town. It consisted of 
three edifices in a flat sandy bottom ; the houses 
as squalid and decayed as the ground was sterile 
and neglected. We inquired for milho for our 
horses and coffee for ourselves, but could get 
neither. We were informed there was plenty 
of both in the venda, but the key was in the 
dona's pocket, and the dona was visiting at a 
house beyond a bridge, so we were obliged to 
proceed further. 

About a league distant we arrived at Pinho 
Novo, situated also in a muddy flat, equally 
uncultivated ; and we found a venda in the 
middle of a swamp, through which we waded, 
nearly up to the horse-girths in mud, and 
obtained some refreshment. From hence we 


passed the same mato, with as little signs of 
cultivation, as in that part of the serra where 
the new line has been opened. It seemed 
extraordinary, that though this road had been 
frequented for near a century, cultivation should 
be as little advanced as on the new line, and 
it still passes through perfect deserts. In a 
very solitary place, ascending a hill, were eight 
or ten negroes sitting on the ground eating 
feijao, round a large gamella ; they were 
repairing the road, and were the first persons 
I had seen so employed. Instead of digging 
trenches on one side or the other, as courses 
to carry off the water, they laid down large 
trees obliquely across the way, facing them up 
with clay, to make channels to conduct it 
from one side to the other, so that a current 
was led in a zigzag direction along the road ; 
and our horses had every hundred yards to 
climb over a beam of timber. 

Notwithstanding the general solitude and 
wild state of the country, every quarter of a 
league we met a large rancho in a valley, and 
generally crowded with troperos' mules. In 
this way we passed Pinho Velho, Bernardo, 
and others, all equally distant from each other, 
and in several valleys, the road being a con- 
tinued succession of hills. The last place was 


striking. It was a large establishment in a 
wide hollow, with sloping grass swards rising 
up the sides of the mountains, yielding very 
extensive pasture. On the hill opposite the 
rancho was a magnificent bombax in blossom. 
It was of immense size, and, with its tall and 
straight stem bristling with broad flat spines, 
its large palmate foliage, and bright ruddy 
flowers resembling rich tulips, it was perhaps 
in that state one of the most beautiful trees 
in the world. The flowers are succeeded by 
immense pods as large as human heads, which 
burst and display long silken fibres like hair, 
to envelope the seed. This is used to stuff 
pillows, and for other domestic purposes. 

In the evening we arrived at Pedro Alves, a 
town containing about fifty houses, in a rich 
verdant vale filled with gardens. It had a very 
rural appearance. The white houses were scat- 
tered through the green -sward, interspersed 
with trees, giving a feature to the village very 
uncommon in a Brazilian landscape. They burn 
and cut down every thing in clearing ground ; 
but if a tree accidentally escape, they prize it 
highly, both for ornament and shade, and use 
it as a grateful refreshment. In this pretty 
village a number had been spared, and added 
greatly to its appearance. The rancho was a 


respectable estalagem, and I found in the sleep- 
ing-room a canopy bed, the only one I had seen 
in Brazil, in the house of a native. The garden 
of the house was filled with the productions of 
both hemispheres, and all climates. Bananas and 
apple trees, walnuts and calabashes, were grow- 
ing luxuriantly side by side ; vines and peach 
trees were loaded with fruit ; and the latter so 
abundantly, that the branches were broken to 
the ground by their weight. Under this lux- 
uriancy of fruit above, were plots of European 
vegetables below; large flat Dutch cabbages, 
and different kinds of lettuces, were flourishing 
among melons and pine-apples ; and the whole 
presented a most grateful picture. Among the 
trees was a cactus, with stems as thick as a 
man's thigh, and ascending to the height of 
thirty feet, deeply ribbed, and from the furrows 
burst an immense profusion of blossoms. 

My supper was served in an open gallery, 
which overlooked the vale, now rendered still 
more lovely by sloping beams of the setting sun ; 
and here, perfumed and shaded with Brazilian 
roses, and the beautiful and splendid flowers of 
the large cactus, whose snowy petals began to 
expand at sun-set, as if for my gratification, I 
passed some of those hours, which it is a plea- 
sure to recal when every thing that was grateful 


to the senses, and agreeable to the fancy, fills 
up the memory. Among my companions was 
a monkey, from a neighbouring wood, who 
amused me greatly by his drollery and fami- 
liarity. He seized upon some fruit left to dry, 
which he devoured with avidity ; and I found 
among them large seeds of the castor-oil tree, 
the oil of which is here used for lamps. Know- 
ing the violent effects of them on human con- 
stitutions, I expected poor jacko would suffer 
severely for touching them. But a quantity 
that would have strongly affected a man, 
seemed to have been inert on him, and I left him 
the next morning as brisk as ever. I brought 
with me some of the unopened buds of the 
cactus, and laid some in water, and some dry 
on the table in my room. I found at midnight 
that they had all expanded, and lay like small 
basins of white china, which they resembled in 
size and colour, so that the nocturnal blowing 
is common to all the genus, and not confined 
to the night-blowing cereus. I was up at five, 
before sun-rise, and all those on the tree were 
in full beauty. Before our departure, at seven 
o'clock, the sun had risen, and they were all 
drooping and withered. 

Soon after leaving Pedro Alves, we passed 
the venda of Dona Delphina, a lady whose 


rank and accomplishments, we had heard, at- 
tracted many passengers to her house. We also 
passed the rancho of Luiz Pereira, where a comely 
and corpulent mulatto woman made for us some 
excellent coffee, with great good will. The 
women of her colour and class I found very 
hospitable, and kindly disposed to procure for 
strangers any refreshment in their power. We 
next arrived at the Engenho do Mato, a large 
sugar plantation and works ; and soon after we 
wandered from the road, and were not aware 
of it till we found ourselves entangled in a dense 
wood. I frequently asked Ricardo if he were 
right, and he always answered " certo." In 
this way, holding both ends of his stick across 
his shoulder, with his face turned up to the 
sky, he pushed on through the forest with the 
greatest unconcern. Though it might be a 
matter of indifference to him to sleep under a 
tree all night in a deluge of rain, it was not so 
to me ; and as the shades of evening were 
closing, I began to be uneasy, and insisted on 
turning back, and endeavouring to gain the 
road we had lost. It was well we did so : with 
considerable difficulty we found the right path, 
which commanded an elevated view. When I 
looked back, and saw the apparently intermi- 
nable wood from which we had emerged, 


expanding as far as the eye could reach to the 
horizon, I thought it very possible, if we had 
been entangled in it, that we should not again 
have appeared — a fate which has happened to 
many. Indeed, if a traveller by any chance 
found himself in the centre of the mass of trees 
now stretched before us, I do not know how 
he could extricate himself. The deep glens 
and ravines with which the forests are always 
intersected, and the luxuriance of vegetation 
by which they are matted, present impenetrable 
barriers to proceeding in any direction, except 
that through which a way had been previously 

We arrived late in the evening at the solitary 
rancho of Antonio Perreira, who had once been 
a very opulent man, and his establishment very 
respectable ; but it was now so decayed that it 
could not afford us a bed, so we were compelled 
to push on further. 

I had now left the elevated regions forming 
a vast ridge from whence the rivers, taking their 
rise, flow in opposite directions. The streams 
we had hitherto forded ran generally west, and 
fell into some ramification of the Uruguay, or 
Rio de la Plata : we now began to pass those 
which ran east, forming the various branches of 
the Parahiba. One of these was called the 


Parahibuna, and our way lay nearly parallel to 
its course, frequently meeting its broad romantic 
stream at its angles, when it met the road. Into 
this river fall many smaller ones, which, crossing 
our line of inarch, we had every league to 
ride over. We now arrived at one called the 
Caxoeira, w T hich was extremely curious and 
beautiful. It descended silently among the mato, 
which concealed its course, to a ledge of rocks 
which formed a natural bridge to the road. 
From this it suddenly burst out, just under our 
feet, with an immense body of water tumbling 
down a deep, wild, romantic wooded glen, by 
a fall extending for three or four hundred yards, 
and becoming one of the most curious and 
magnificent cataracts I had ever seen. I passed 
this rock-formed bridge when the shades of 
evening were closing in, and the mists were 
hanging on the mountains all about ; the doubt- 
ful twilight above giving a mysterious cast to 
the roar of the wild waters, and the white foam 
indistinctly seen below. It was quite dark when 
we arrived at the bottom of the hill, and here, 
in a glen through which the river discharges 
itself, we found the fazenda of Dom Joaquim 

On one side was the fazendeiro's house, white- 
washed, with a large farm-yard before it ; on the 


other was a large rancho full of troperos, and 
in the middle was a small cottage containing 
a venda and a confined cell behind it to lodge 
a traveller, where the dom disposed of the pro- 
duce of his farm. When apprised of my arrival, 
he came down from his house. He was a large 
man, in his shirt and pantaloons, without coat 
or hat, though it was raining, and the drops 
running from his long bristly beard, which 
people of his class seldom shave above once 
a month. He too had heard of my gold, winked 
and talked in a suppressed voice about it, and 
wished me to dispose of some of it. I assured 
him I had no gold, but he looked incredulous 
and disappointed that I would not sell it. He 
sent me, however, a comfortable supper dressed 
in his own kitchen, on a tray, with a snow white 
napkin. I then retired to the little clay nook 
behind the venda, to which there was no window ; 
but the matting and bamboo bed was green and 
fragrant, and I soon fell asleep with a sense of 
something fresh and wholesome about me. 

The next morning we were overtaken on the 
road by a gigantic mulatto, I think the most 
athletic man I ever saw ; he knew some people 
at S. Jose, and particularly my Indian guide, 
Patricio ; and when he found he had attended 
me, he felt good will towards me for his sake. 


We passed through Alcalde mor, with a large 
ragged rancho, and, at a short distance from it, 
we entered a circular valley of great extent. 
The trees on both sides had been burnt down, 
and their place supplied with a very beautiful 
crop of milho. It exhibited the appearance of 
a basin, with a regular edge on the horizon 
above, and on looking up we saw it skirted all 
round with tall trees, which formed a vast hedge 
to this magnificent field of corn. The object 
was so striking as to excite the apathy even of 
Ricardo, who turned about and observed, with a 
kind of feeling which I never saw him display 
before, " muito bonita" — very beautiful. 

Towards mid-day we arrived at Juiz da Fora, 
and here it was necessary to have the horse 
and mule shod, but this is a matter of no small 
difficulty in Brazil. The shoe is a flat plate of 
iron, which projects considerably beyond the 
hoof, and it is made so broad to afford the beast 
a firmer footing on the soft roads ; but in their 
present state it had quite a contrary effect. It 
gave no resistance to the pressure, for the 
animals sunk below their fetlocks at every step, 
and when they attempted to retract their feet, the 
projecting edge was caught in the viscid clay, 
and they generally left the shoes behind. In 
some places we met negroes with poles shod 


with iron, who were delving in the pits left by 
the animals' tracks, and they ascertained when 
a shoe was at the bottom, by the clink of one 
iron against the other. They make a livelihood 
by the recovery of those lost shoes, and many 
of them were hung round with strings of them. 
Every tropero is a ferrador, or horse-shoer to 
his own troop ; but if a traveller does not meet 
with one on the road, he rarely finds him esta- 
blished at a rancho. He often sees smiths 
and forges, but seldom any iron to work up, 
though it is often the material of which the 
rocks about here are composed. I had got my 
horses shod by a tropero the day before, but 
on examination we now found they had lost 
five shoes, which it was necessary to replace 
before we could proceed, and we stopped at the 
rancho for the purpose. 

As usual, there was no ferradura to be had 
here, but my mulatto acquaintance bestirred 
himself; he rummaged out some old shoes, 
adapted them to the proper size, and clapped 
them on himself with great skill and despatch. 
When I proposed to pay him for his trouble, 
he would take nothing, but at parting requested 
to embrace me, and the man actually took me 
in his arms, when I felt like Gulliver in those 
of Glumdalclitch. There was no reason for his 

VOL. II. s 


civility and good will, but that I was a stranger 
and knew a person with whom he was also 

When my robust friend was gone, there 
rode up several men with slouched hats, black 
mustaches, and spurs on their naked heels, 
without shoes or stockings. They had all, besides, 
pistols and long guns on their saddles, which 
stuck out at each end from under their punchos. 
They eyed me very hard, and one little fellow, 
who looked like Spado in the Castle of Anda- 
lusia, when he thought I did not hear him, 
began to curse the English, and say, " they were 
robbing the country, and ought not to be suffered 
to take the gold out of it ;" and, suiting the action 
to the word, he took hold of the suspected box 
with which Ricardo was now loading the mule. 
I thought he was really going to carry it off; 
but after remarking and admiring the weight 
of it, he helped it on the mule, and then, with 
a surly good humour wishing me a pleasant 
journey, he trotted off with his companions. 

After leaving Juiz da Fora, we arrived in 
about an hour at the banks of the Parahi- 
buna, which here makes an angle, and meets 
the road. It was a broad fine stream, flowing 
with a clear and rapid current, about forty yards 
wide. On the edge stood a rancho and venda, 


where I stopped for refreshment. The house 
was kept by very respectable-looking people, 
particularly the females, who were comely and 
neatly dressed. While sitting in the venda, 
drinking my coffee, I took out a map on which 
I had traced my route, to mark the angle of the 
river in this place ; they came round me, not 
with an obtrusive curiosity, but with a wish 
for information — perfectly comprehended the 
parts marked down, and pointed out to me 
some useful corrections. They had never seen 
a map before, but their interest was highly 
excited by it, and it afforded another, to many 
instances I had seen, of the natural capacity 
of the Brazilians, and their disposition for 

From hence our way lay through a deep 
glen, where distant muttering announced the 
approach of rain in the midst of sun-shine, and 
in a short time the whole horizon became dark, 
and the war of elements began. Forked light- 
ning descended from the clouds, in zigzag lines 
all around us, and visibly struck and splintered 
several trees on the opposite side of the valley. 
In one instance, a column of smoke followed 
the apparent stroke of the electric fluid, but 
the rain was descending in such a deluge, that 
the flame, I suppose, was extinguished. It is 



the manner, however, in which woods are fre- 
quently set on fire. From hence we again 
fell in with the river, tumbling over ledges of 
granite, and forming a number of cascades, while 
it penetrated the bosom of a high and rugged 
serra, which stood before us. Just at the 
foot, and among the rocks, over the river, hung 
Marmelo, a very wild-looking village of negro 
huts, apparently inhabited only by blacks. The 
dark precipices of the mountain impending 
above, the river tumbling in cataracts below, 
the very rude huts, and their dusky inha- 
bitants, afforded me the most striking picture 
of savage life I had yet seen in the country. 
From hence we climbed a very steep and savage 
serra, while the roar of the Parahibuna was 
heard below, winding its way through the clefts 
and chasms of its centre, and we arrived at the 
top with the storm still raging about us. Here 
it was almost dark, and we stumbled over an 
obstruction in the middle of the road. It was 
a new-made grave, stuck all over with little 
crosses, and intimated some violent or sudden 
death just before on that spot, but whether 
by lightning or robbers we could not tell. 
As it was, Ricardo's usual apathy was aroused 
to a degree of horror, — he turned from it 
with fright in his looks, and said to me in a 


suppressed voice, " No ta bo, Senho, no ta bo ; — 
It is no good, Sir, it is no good ;" and he 
hastened from the ill-omened spot with all his 

We now descended to a very extended valley, 
and arrived at the fazenda of Madeiras, the 
most unpromising place, in the most inclement 
evening I had yet encountered in the country. 
It was a deep wide glen, flooded with sheets of 
water, in the midst of which stood a ragged 
rancho, of the most dismal and solitary aspect, 
and when I rode into it, I found the interior 
worse than it looked. The roof was broken 
in, and the rain had flooded the floor with pools. 
I asked an old diseased negro, who stood shiver- 
ing in one of the dryest corners, where I could 
lodge ? He said, " Aqui, Senho ; — Here, Sir ; 
there is no other place." I now looked round 
me in great dismay ; to pass an inclement night 
in this ruin, without covering or refreshment, 
would, I concluded, be my death-warrant, and 
it was too late to attempt to penetrate farther 
into the mountains in search of another. In 
this dilemma, I saw at some distance a respect- 
able-looking house, and on inquiry to whom it 
belonged, I was informed to the Dona Theresa. 
I at once made up my mind, and rode off to 
throw myself on her compassion. 


After wading through thick and thin, across 
the muddy valley, I stood before the house, 
dropping like the Chelsea water-works. The 
lady herself appeared in the balcony above, 
and wished to know my business. I hastily 
collected all the Portuguese words I was master 
of, and made a speech from the top of my 
horse. I represented the tempest, the rain, the 
darkness, and the ruins, and finally requested 
shelter in her house. She looked alternately 
at the sky, at me, at the mountains, and at the 
rancho, and I saw they were powerful auxiliaries 
to my stammering eloquence. She pitied my 
desolate state, bowed her head, and motioned 
me up. I ascended by a flight of stone steps ; 
but when I entered the balcony, the Dona had 
disappeared, and a negro was there, who showed 
me into a good apartment off the balcony, with a 
comfortable bed. Slaves immediately attended ; 
one pulled off my drenched garments, another 
brought napkins, and a third a large gamella, 
with hot water and caxas, for a bath. When 
I had thus changed my wet clothes, I went 
forth to thank my kind hostess. She received 
my acknowledgments with courtesy and sim- 
plicity, and asked me what refreshment I 
wished for, and when I would take it; I left 
both to herself, and she retired. 


I now found that she was the widow of a 
gentleman, who had been proprietor of the 
estate all round. He had died a few years before, 
leaving her with two little girls, her daughters, 
and twenty-four slaves, fourteen males and ten 
females. The former were located in huts up 
the sides of the hills, and the latter lodged 
with her in her house. With this large family 
of slaves, she lived alone in the mountains, 
having no white persons, but her little children, 
within several leagues of her. Yet such was 
the moral ascendancy she had acquired, that 
her whole establishment moved with perfect 
regularity, and cultivated an estate of several 
square miles. She was herself a lady of about 
thirty or more, rather corpulent, as most Bra- 
zilians are, at that age, with a genteel aquiline 
face. Her daughters were most engaging little 
creatures. I took one in each arm, and 
marched them up and down the balcony while 
supper was preparing. They leaned their olive 
faces on my shoulder, and fixed their large dark 
eyes, through the pent-house of their black thick 
hair, intently on my face, and they remained for 
a long time without uttering a sound, except a 
deep heavy sigh. The Dona passed us in her 
domestic affairs, and seemed gratified at a stran- 
ger thus noticing her children. 


Supper was served in the balcony, and I 
was attended, like some man in the Arabian 
Nights, by six young female slaves, all dressed 
in white. As I was cold and chilly from the 
inclemency of the day, I wished to make some 
hot punch, and requested caxas and warm water 
for the purpose. On one of the jugs brought 
to me, was an inscription, and I was curious 
to see what fancy the Brazilians indulged in 
this respect ; but I was rather surprised to 
read in English, " To all good fellows." The 
jug was Staffordshire-ware, which, like other 
British manufactures, was to be found in every 
part of the country, and the language was un- 
intelligible to the Dona. I saw, however, the 
handmaids smiling about me, and endeavouring 
to suppress their laughter, so I thought they 
understood its meaning ; but their tittering had 
another object, and that was the caxas the jug 
contained. I let them do as they pleased, and 
they all filled up a saucer with it, which had 
held some salt, and drank it off like water, 
though it was as strong almost, and as fiery as 
aqua-fortis. The eldest was not fifteen. The 
partiality of blacks for this ardent spirit is quite 
a rage. They begin to drink it as soon as they 
can get it. Whenever I have been asked for 
a vi ntem, it was always to purchase it, and the 


same quantity does not seem to produce that 
degree of intoxication it would on a white. 

Beside the gallery stood a large barn. About 
nine o'clock at night this was lighted up with 
a great blaze, and I saw and heard people at 
work. Curious to know their employment, I 
went to see. They were threshing milho ; the 
heads were cut off, and laid on a wattled 
platform, and eight men, with poles, beat 
them in regular time. The seeds flew about 
with great force, and striking against a matted 
wall, fell back, passed through the wattles, and 
were collected in a heap below. The husks 
were then thrown on the fire, and caused the 
blaze which attracted me. When they had 
threshed enough for the ensuing week, they 
lighted a large fire before the barn door, and 
walking round it in procession, each took a 
lighted brand from it, and proceeded to his own 
hut. Whether this was a mere usage of the 
fazenda, or some ceremonial observance, I could 
not learn. 

The next morning, I found I had actually 
occupied the Dona's own chamber ; admitting 
a stranger was a circumstance so rare, that 
there was no other place for his accommodation. 
I really felt shocked and embarrassed at this, 
and knew not how I could make an adequate 


return. I happened to have an English so- 
vereign in my pocket, with the device of George 
and the dragon on one side, so I determined 
to drill a hole on the edge, and hang it round 
one of the children's necks, as a little keepsake, 
which would not look like giving money. 
While I was in the act of this operation, 
Ricardo came in and told me, that my bill 
for lodging and entertainment was three patacs 
and a cobre. It is astonishing how a little 
circumstance dissolves a dream of romance. I 
put up St. George and the dragon, with a 
feeling of deep disappointment, and discharged 
my bill, which was not more than if I had re- 
mained in the ragged rancho ; but I would have 
paid ten times as much with pleasure, had I 
not been asked for it. At parting, I thanked 
my kind hostess, and was, I hope, duly grateful 
for her real hospitality, though the delusion of 
proud chateaux, stately dames, and wandering 
knights was completely destroyed. It was most 
unreasonable to expect such romance in a country 
like Brazil, where every fazenda has a rancho, 
and every proprietor is more or less an innkeeper. 
We again ascended the mountains, and again 
I felt how much I was indebted to the Dona 
Theresa for the shelter she had afforded me. 
Nothing could be more desolate than the region 


we had to pass through, and had we endea- 
voured to explore our way in a dark tempes- 
tuous night, we never could have found it. In 
an hour we were descending into a more 
level country, and crossed the Riberao, which 
runs over small ridges of granite, or gneis 
rocks, forming a kind of stone-ribbed road for 
some distance. From hence the river descends, 
in a succession of cataracts, till it falls into the 
Parahibuna. About mid-day we again fell in 
with the latter river, at Idhea, and were greatly 
gratified by the novel sight it presented. The 
broad stream here flows round a swelling penin- 
sula, which rises into gentle hills from the banks 
of the river. These were all converted into 
immense coffee plantations, which ascended to 
the summits. Round the base was a rich belt 
of green-sward, on which large herds of black 
cattle were grazing ; and between the plan- 
tations were rows of bananas, palms, and other 
native trees, in full bearing. On one side were 
the farm-houses forming a little town, and the 
river was passed over to it by a handsome 
bridge. The whole formed a grand and beau- 
tiful picture, of what this fine country can and 
will be made, when the people avail themselves 
of all its capabilities. This is far from being 
the case at present ; I asked at a rancho for 


the refreshment of a cup of coffee, as my own 
stock was exhausted, but there was not a grain 
to be had on one side of the river, while on the 
other was a plantation, seemingly capable of 
supplying all England. 

We soon after arrived at the registry of 
Mathias Barbosa, where we expected to be 
examined. We found, however, that it was 
removed still farther on. The man who ori- 
ginally established it in the country, at Re- 
gisto, had it afterwards transferred to this 
place, which he then called by his own name. 
The buildings form a large square, enclosing 
a quadrangular space inside. We approached 
it by a stone causeway, which led up to a gate, 
into which we entered, passed through the 
quadrangle, and out at a gate on the other 
side, without any questions being asked, though 
it was carefully guarded by soldiers. We found, 
on inquiry there, that the registry was now 
finally established on the river Parahiba, the 
boundary-line between the two provinces. 

We could procure no refreshment at this 
place, and proceeded on to the village of Simao 
Pereira, where there is a chapel, and procured 
some coffee ; and about four o'clock arrived at 
the romantic passage of the Parahibuna, which is 
singularly beautiful. At some leagues from hence 


the river joins the Parahiba, and the peninsula 
caused by the union of the two streams, is 
formed of mountains of naked granite, which 
overhang the bed of the river, with immense 
projecting and perpendicular faces, and through 
this vast barrier of rock the large body of water 
tumbles away, till it joins its larger brother. 
The passage here also was once on a time the 
registry, till it was finally removed to the Para- 
hiba; but the appearance is still kept up at this 
place. The river is crossed by a very beautiful 
bridge, thrown over from the rocks at each side, 
and supported by abutments springing from 
others in the middle of the stream, which is 
here about 200 yards wide. On the opposite 
bank is the former registry, still standing on an 
esplanade over the river, and behind it rises the 
bare perpendicular face of an immense granite 
mountain, with a skirting of forest trees on the 
highest ridge. The bridge, the registry, and 
some houses here, are all kept in the neatest 
repair ; and the whole has the appearance of 
some of the prettiest villages in Wales or Devon- 
shire, though the water and rocks are on a much 
grander scale. It was remarkable that there 
is no toll for passing this long and beautiful 
bridge, though I paid enormously at the ragged, 
tottering structures I had passed elsewhere. 


At this pretty village there was no rancho, 
or any place of entertainment, and we had still 
to splash on in thunder, lightning, and rain, 
as usual, till we met with one. About half a 
league further we found the rancho of Ignacio, 
but no other accommodation of any kind. An 
open shed on such a night was a dismal prospect, 
and on looking about I saw a small hut opposite 
filled with people, who seemed to have taken 
shelter from the wet. One of them, a large 
burly man, with a straw hat projecting like 
a pent-house, and no shoes or stockings, sat 
with his long pole across the door, as if to 
bar it against the entrance of any other person. 
He told me in a rough manner that the rancho 
was the only place for me, unless I chose to 
go on two leagues further to another of the 
same kind. I asked him to admit me to the 
house ; he replied it was as full as it could 
hold. " But," said he, " you may stand in it 
all night, if you please, for there is no room 
to lie down." I thought standing room better 
than none at all, in such weather, so I alighted 
and squeezed in. There were nine men in the 
small room, who were the father and his sons. 
I divested myself of my wet clothes in a corner, 
and then accommodated myself to my place and 
company; they were rough, but kind and cordial. 


At supper a large heap of farinha was poured 
out from a bag on the cloth, and on the summit 
was laid a copious dish of smoking feijao ; 
every one helped himself with his spoon from 
this heap, till the dish descended to the table ; 
to season our beans and meal, a piece of roast 
pork was cut up and sent round by the man of 
the house, and the whole concluded with caxas 
grog. I never eat a more hearty supper, or 
was among kinder people. When all was re- 
moved, I was preparing to sleep by laying my 
head on the table, but I was touched on the 
shoulder and beckoned into an inner room, 
which I did not know of, and here I found 
a nice bed prepared for me ; I afterwards learned 
it was that occupied by the man of the house, 
who gave it up to the stranger, though he was 
himself in a bad state of health. On departing 
in the morning I gave an English shilling to one 
of the sons as a keep-sake ; he showed it to 
the rest with exultation, and they said he should 
keep it " por lembranca" — to remember me. 
So we all shook hands with great cordiality, 
and I parted from my humble, but very kind 

My way led over the steep and rugged serra 
of Entre Rios, which lay between the two 
rivers, and occupied nearly the whole interval. 


We we were now approaching the Parahiba, the 
great thoroughfare of this country, and the po- 
pulation was proportionally increasing. At the 
end of every half mile we met ranchos rilled 
with mules, and the commodities they were 
bearing. Some of these buildings, particularly 
Rossigno da Negra, formed large quadrangles, 
and the road passed through the square in the 
middle. The houses too were more numerous, 
scattered so thick as to deserve the name of 
villages ; and from this populous and frequented 
country, we entered the town of Parahiba, on 
the banks of the river. This contains about 
eighty or a hundred houses, built in a very 
irregular manner. It was filled with the bustle 
and activity of mules arriving and departing, 
and the different retainers of the customs, who 
form a class of population more rude and offen- 
sive than any I had met in Brazil. The registry 
is finally established in this place, and I was to 
undergo a strict examination, and the supposed 
treasure of my heavy box displayed. 

As people are subject to great annoyance 
here, Senhor Campos had given me a letter to 
the vigario, who was to direct me how to pro- 
ceed. He, I found, was detained in the country 
at some distance by the floods, and I proceeded 
myself to the registry. I had no need of any 


interference, the gentlemen in the office were 
remarkably polite. On reading my passport 
they took my word for the contents of my 
luggage, and on paying some trifling fees, 
without further inquiry or examination, I was 
conveyed to a large ferry-boat and passed to 
the other side. The river here is about 200 
yards across, and preserves its rocky and ob- 
structed character. The ferry-boat, which con- 
tained twenty or thirty horses and mules, with 
their loading, was poled through shallow water, 
nearly to the middle of the stream; it was a 
tedious process, and they talked of erecting a 
bridge similar to that across the Parahibuna. 

When arrived at the other side, we hastened 
on to reach, while it was light, the rancho of 
La Cruz, kept by a man who, they told me, 
spoke English. The usual war of the elements, 
however, set in just after we left the river, and 
we found ourselves in the dark, floundering 
along under one of the most violent storms of 
thunder and rain we had get encountered. 
Ricardo became greatly alarmed; I found he 
had an irrepressible horror at being on the road 
at night in this place, both for natural and pre- 
ternatural reasons, and after wandering from 
the path several times, as if he was bewildered, 
he took refuge in the first rancho we met, 

VOL. II. t 


and neither threats nor entreaties could induce 
him to go on further. 

This was a large dreary place, like a stable, 
kept by a woman, who lived there with five 
or six negroes. She was young, and rather 
comely; but when I entered, evidently intox- 
icated. She had been, I learned, a person of 
indifferent character, at Rio ; and had two il- 
legitimate children. She rented this rancho, 
and took one of her negroes as her paramour 
and partner. Of all the women on record who 
have been no ornament to their sex, this, I 
believe, was one of the worst. After having 
emptied a bottle of caxas, to which, as I passed 
by her venda, I saw her head constantly ap- 
plied, she issued forth with her face flushed, 
and a lash in her hand ; the very personification 
of Tisiphone. One of her slaves was a poor 
boy of twelve years old, and on this child she 
vented all her malignant passions. Every time 
she met him, she attacked him with her lash, 
cutting him across the face and body, till she 
left him bleeding and moaning; and this for 
no reason, but in the very wantonness of 
cruelty. Her house was like herself — most 
abominable — I could get no place to rest 
in, but a kind of stable among the negroes; 
and here, in the midst of filth, my supper 


was served up. It consisted of rancid pork 
sausages and feijao. When the boy whom 
she had so cruelly treated, was laying it on 
the table, he trembled so that he spilled a 
small portion of the sauce. She seized him 
by the throat, dashed him down, and trampled 
on- him. I now interfered for the poor child, 
and took him up to protect him. There lay 
on the board a pointed faca, one of the deadly 
weapons used for stabbing. She caught it up, 
and striking the end of it on the table, rushed 
forward with an intent to wound either me or 
the child, when I wrenched it from her hand. 
Knowing quid fiirens fcemina posset, and that she 
had several sturdy negroes at her command, 
I thought it right to be on my guard, and kept 
the little fellow by me on a mat ; he moaned 
most piteously all night, crying out for mercy 
every moment in his sleep. 

I was glad to leave this fury at the dawn of 
day, but sorry to leave the poor child behind 
me, who I have no doubt will fall a victim 
to her intoxicated rage. If there was no other 
argument against a state of slavery, the in- 
centive it applies to the indulgence of our evil 
passions, would be sufficient to condemn it. 
If this wretched woman had not this poor victim 
to exercise her bad temper on, with impunity 



on all occasions, she would learn to keep it 
under some control. 

The name of this rancho was Governo, and 
it is on the estate of Senhor Jose Linhares, a 
constitutional Spaniard, who arrived at Rio, and 
married a Brazilian lady with a considerable 
property on the Parahiba. He had been in- 
debted for acts of kindness to some of the 
British, and is very attentive to any of that 
nation whom he meets. Had I applied at his 
house, I should have been hospitably received, 
and spared a night of painful recollection. 

We soon arrived at the English rancho, and 
found it was kept by a German of the name of 
Crede, who spoke English. He had come out 
as a miner, but found it a better speculation to 
keep an inn. He seemed thriving and pros- 
perous. On our way we had met several very 
long snakes ; one of them was so large that it 
lay across the road like a small cable, and we 
were compelled to rouse him out of our path 
by hurling stones at him from a distance, like 
the soldiers of Regulus on the banks of the 
river Bagrada ; he coiled up his long folds and 
glided into the wood. Another was a beautiful 
cobra coral, which we killed, and I brought him 
along on a forked stick. Ricardo turned from 
him with horror ; but one of the Germans here, 


skinned and stuffed him for me without 

After breakfasting with our German host, 
and receiving from him some useful directions, 
we proceeded on to Saboora, a small village 
with a chapel ; and from thence to the large 
coffee plantation of Pamboola, affording ano- 
ther fine specimen of the capabilities of the 
country. From hence we passed a stream, 
where meeting a ledge of rocks, it tumbles over 
it, and forms several beautiful cascades. We 
stopped near this to feed our horses ; and 
sitting on the steps of a door taking some 
memoranda, I attracted the notice of an elderly 
man who had been attending the horses. He 
came and sat down beside me. I asked him 
some questions as to the direction of the 
waters. He immediately took the pen, and 
on a bit of paper which I furnished him with, 
sketched a map of the country, with the names 
of several streams by which it was intersected. 
The river which forms the cascade was the 
Segretaria, which joined, at some distance before 
us, the Fagunda, and both fell together into the 
Piabunda ; which last, meeting with the Pa- 
rahiba and Parahibuna, form a grand junction, 
denominated Tres Barras, and resembling in 
this the Nore, the Suir, and the Barrow in 


Ireland, mentioned by Spencer, and called the 
Three Sisters. I found my new friend very in- 
telligent ; he asked me various questions of other 
countries, and was as ready to give as to get 
information. Indeed, as far as my experience 
goes, such is the general character of this rising 
people. They esteem strangers who visit their 
country as persons of more extensive knowledge 
than themselves ; and are well pleased to learn 
any thing from them, and tell them all they 
know in return, He was a common man, in 
a remote place, not superior to the hostler of 
an inn, anxious for knowledge, and capable of 
constructing a map of the surrounding country. 

From hence we passed through a very lovely 
region, of a more cultivated and pastoral cha- 
racter than any I had yet seen in Brazil. Our 
road lay along the Piabunda, which we here 
for the first time fell in with. It was exceed- 
ingly romantic and pretty, resembling the Clyde 
near the falls at Lanark, but on a much larger 
scale. The road passed at a considerable height 
above it, and commanded an extended view of 
its windings and tumblings. We passed several 
neat and picturesque cottages and gardens ; 
and in the evening we arrived at Semidouro, 
an arrayal of twenty or thirty houses, with a 
vancho and venda on each end. At the first 


we could get no answer to our inquiries. The 
vendeiro had a card party in his shop, who 
occupied his counter ; and he was so interested 
in the game he was playing, that we were told 
to go somewhere else, as he could not attend 
to us. We inquired at the second, and were 
informed that there was neither quarto nor 
cama ; so we were directed to proceed on to 
Salta, the alfiera of the Senhor Louriano. 
This will give you some idea of the state of 
travelling in this country. We were now on a 
much frequented road, in a populous district, 
approaching the capital, and in a large village 
with two inns ; and there was not a sleeping- 
room or bed in either, for a passenger. In 
fact, the state of seclusion in which the country 
was kept, and the strict inhibition laid upon 
strangers passing through it, had prevented all 
communication ; and, consequently, no accom- 
modation was thought of. 

We arrived at Salta about sun-set ; every 
thing about this place had an inviting look. A 
steep romantic rock hung over it, and the pretty 
river murmured below it. The habitation of 
the Senhor was a large well-built edifice, and a 
decent house opposite the rancho seemed in- 
tended for the reception of travellers ; but I 
was told that here also there was no accom- 


modation of any kind but the open shed, and 
that I must go a league or two farther on. 
It was now growing dark, and I felt quite 
exhausted, and indeed unable to proceed; 
so I determined once more to appeal to the 
hospitality of a native. Senhor Louriano 
was standing in his balcony, a mild, gentle- 
manly-looking man, about forty. His wife, 
I was told, had died a short time before, 
and he was living with his ten children, who 
were all about him. I made my case known 
to him, and requested he would procure me a 
lodging in the village. He said there was no 
such thing, and that his own house was so full 
that he could not accommodate me any where 
but in his gallery, to which I was welcome. 
I readily accepted the offer, and transferred my 
baggage there, and sat down on a bench. After 
some conversation, he said I seemed very tired 
and exhausted ; and I confessed I was so. He 
then, with the kindest expression of counte- 
nance, took me by the hand, and led me to 
a neat bed-chamber, telling me it was mine 
while I remained. In due time supper was 
announced, and I was introduced by the worthy 
man to his large family, and became quite 
domesticated among them. 

The next morning I discovered, that here 


also the man of the house had given me up his 
own bed, and slept himself on a mat in a 
store-room full of peaches. He had prepared 
for me in the morning, the unusual luxury of 
tea for breakfast ; after which, he called the 
younger branches of his family about him, in- 
cluding his blacks, and having instructed them 
in their prayers and duties, he dismissed them 
with a blessing. He then procured for me 
the company of a tropero, who was conveying 
for him cargoes of peaches to Rio ; and I took 
leave of this very kind and good man, with 
feelings of great esteem and respect, which 
was all the remuneration I made him for his 
hospitality, for he would accept of no other. 

I now for the first time travelled with mu- 
leteers ; and even if I were disposed to sadness, 
their light and merry dispositions would disperse 
it. The morning was beautiful, brightening 
every feature of the lovely country through 
which we passed ; and my mind was filled with 
the recollections of the kindness and good-will 
I had experienced, and a reciprocal feeling of 
them for all about me. Our way continued 
along the pretty banks of the Piabunda, which 
we were now ascending to its source in the 
Organ mountains ; and at the end of two leagues 
we arrived at the fazenda of Padre Correa, long 


celebrated for its coffee plantations. The house 
is a large, low edifice, standing on one side of a 
spacious green ; and on the opposite ran the 
river, with a broad clear stream over a bed of peb- 
bles. In the centre was an immense figueira, or 
Brazilian fig-tree, shadowing all around with its 
dark foliage. Under this I sat sheltered from 
the heat of the sun, and took the refreshment 
of some fine peaches, with which the senhor 
had directed the muleteers to supply me. In 
the windows of the house stood a lady with 
some children ; I made them a low obeisance, 
which they courteously returned. I was in- 
formed it was the family of the emperor, whose 
daughter, the Princess Paula, had been sent 
here for the recovery of her health. She had 
been affected with a chronic inflammation of 
her liver ; and after remaining a few months 
in this delightful and salubrious place, she re- 
turned to Rio perfectly restored. The emperor 
was hourly expected to visit his family. 

We now came within sight of sundry granite 
pikes, that pierced the sky with their sharp 
points. We were approaching behind the Organ 
mountains, and began to see on the horizon 
the back of that ridge, whose front presents to 
Rio so curious an aspect. Fazendas were 
abundant on all sides, and the hedges were 


generally the American aloe.* This magnifi- 
cent plant, which I found in every part of the 
country, forms a circle of lanceolate leaves, 
sometimes eighteen feet in circumference ; the 
leaves themselves being eight feet long, exceed- 
ingly strong and sharp. The flower-stem is 
two and a half feet in circumference at the base, 
and shoots up to the height of thirty feet ; from 
this project innumerable horizontal footstalks, 
from whence hang myriads of campanulate 
blossoms, so that the form of this grand flower 
is that of a pine-tree, for which it might be 
mistaken. I saw in some places when I set 
out, this stem beginning to protrude itself from 
the midst of the leaves, and on my return it 
had attained the magnitude of a pine-tree of 
twenty years' growth. What an idea does this 
give of the vigour of vegetation in this country, 
where such a vast mass of beautifully organized 
vegetable matter could be formed in so short 
a time from one root! Its existence, however, 
is. as short-lived as its growth is rapid : already 
had the succulent stem begun to decay at its 
base ; and a strong wind had prostrated many 
of them across the road, the dimensions of 
which I measured. The stems lay rotting and 

* Agave Americana. 


useless, but the leaves yield a strong fibre, which 
is twisted into cordage. 

At the distance of a league we arrived at 
Samambaya. Here, as I approached, I heard 
a distinct noise, which I thought proceeded 
from frogs ; but it was from a manufacture of 
ferraduras, or horse-shoes, and I now could 
comprehend why the frogs were called ferradors. 
Several negroes stood at a bench, with the 
iron before them, which they struck with mea- 
sured blows, and the metallic sound they 
emitted, exactly resembled the successive croaks 
of this curious species. A short way beyond 
this we arrived at the foot of the Organ moun- 
tains, and began to ascend by the celebrated 
Estrada d'Estrella. This is a broad paved road, 
extending for four miles, over a depression be- 
tween two high peaks of the mountain. It is 
thirty feet wide, divided into three compartments 
by three parallel lines of narrow flags, running 
like bands the whole length of it, one through 
the centre and two at each side. From the road 
project small mounds of stone, so as to intercept 
the passage, and compel travellers to use the 
pavement only, which the muleteers would gladly 
evade if they could. We climbed, with some 
difficulty, up this disagreeable passage ; the 
hoofs of the mules and horses clattering and 


slipping the whole way over the rough and 
smooth stones, till we gained the highest ridge, 
and then a view suddenly burst upon me of 
surprising magnificence. 

On both sides rose the granite pinnacles, tall 
and slender, like vast Turkish minarets, piercing 
the clouds. As these receded on each hand, 
they exposed to view the rich plain below, 
ornamented with villas, and extending to the 
edge of the bay. Here commenced that beau- 
tiful sheet of water, the nearer end studded 
with green islands, and the farther with ships 
of all nations ; beyond was the town expanding 
to a great distance along the shore, interspersed 
with wooded hills, their sides dotted with villas, 
and their tops crowned with churches and con- 
vents. Beyond this was the Pao d'Assuear, the 
Corcovado, and other fantastic and singular- 
shaped mountains, that give the entrance of the 
bay so uncommon a character ; and beyond all 
was the blue Atlantic, expanding into im- 
measurable space, till it was lost in the blue 
sky. But it is impossible for me to convey to 
you any adequate conception of this glorious 
sight, which far, far exceeded any thing I had 
ever seen before, or ever expect to see. 

From hence I descended into the plain below, 
to the fazenda of Mandioca, and took up my 


abode for the night at a rancho. This stood 
in a rich plain, with a number of large edifices 
scattered through it : it extended to the base of 
the Organ's pikes, which seemed to rise perpen- 
dicularly from it, and formed round it a bristling 
semicircle. The horizontal sunbeams, gleaming 
through the intervals, shone on the opposite 
spires with extraordinary varieties of light and 
shade ; and when it had set, the tips of all of 
them seemed of burnished gold. One of them, 
at a distance, called the Cabeco de Frade, or 
the priest's head, from the spherical knob by 
which it is surmounted, was seen gleaming 
above, while all the rest of the pike was in 
shade ; as I have sometimes observed the ball 
of St. Paul's glittering above the mist. 

From hence to the Porto d'Estrella was about 
two leagues, where we arrived at mid-day. 
It is here that all persons who come by the 
Estrada embark for the capital ; to which they 
go direct by water, a distance of thirty-six 
miles, instead of a very circuitous and tedious 
journey by land round the bay. Boats take 
advantage of the sea and land breezes, which 
periodically blow up and down the harbour, 
with unerring regularity; they therefore come 
up with the former in the morning, and go 
down with the latter in the evening. The 


aldea of Porto d'Estrella is situated on the 
river Inhumerim, near its confluence with the 
Saracuruna, about four miles from the sea. It 
is a long, ragged-looking village, containing 
about two hundred houses, with a few good 
buildings and shops. The situation is swampy ; 
the country all about being intersected with 
branches of other small rivers communicating 
with the Inhumerim, which winds its sluggish 
way through reedy banks of soft mud. At the 
extremity of the street, is a large armazen, or 
warehouse, where all the commodities about to 
be embarked are stored. This is situated on 
the edge of the muddy stream, and the rancid 
effluvia arising from decayed articles, combined 
with the putrid miasma exhaled from the stag- 
nant waters, render it exceedingly offensive and 

It was a curious and interesting sight, how- 
ever, to watch the arrival of the troperos from 
the interior, with different articles to be em- 
barked for Rio. From morning till evening, 
there was a continued and uninterrupted suc- 
cession, of troops of loaded mules pouring into 
the town, and depositing their cargoes, con- 
sisting of milho, farinha, coffee, cotton, fruit, 
poultry, and other articles; and I do not know 
that I had ever seen a greater activity and 


bustle of commerce, than this place displayed. 
Three large vessels of seventy or eighty tons 
burden were brought to the bank, in which 
all those commodities were embarked ; in one 
of them, covered with a straw canopy, I took 
my place, with some other passengers, and 
about six o'clock we set sail. This river formerly 
abounded with alligators, which are now become 
scarce and timid ; and we saw ducks and children 
swimming with impunity in the stream at the 
village. As we advanced, however, into the 
wider part, and among the more solitary swamps, 
we saw them moving the reeds, and heard them 
champing and blowing at the edge of the water. 
About midnight we disembarked at the mouth 
of the river, on a platform, and entered an 
aquatic tavern, where we supped on cold fried 
fish, vinegar, and capsicum, and again em- 

In the morning we found ourselves in the 
middle of the bay, in a dead calm, so the pa- 
trono of the vessel dropped anchor. It was 
necessary to make a fire to prepare a repast 
for the black crew ; and instead of using a flint 
and steel, which no one on board possessed, 
they practised the primitive Indian method of 
friction. One held a flat piece of wood, while 
another placed on it a pointed stick, which he 


kept between the palms of his hands, then 
twirling it rapidly round, while the other pressed 
the board against the point, in a short time 
we perceived the smell of fire, then saw smoke, 
then a red glow at the twirling point of the 
stick, and, finally, the board burst into a flame. 
At length the sea breeze sprung up, of which 
we availed ourselves, passing obliquely through 
the channels of several beautiful islands ; and 
arrived, after mid-day, at the Armazem do Sal, 
at Rio. Here I took a small boat, made out of 
the hollow trunk of a tree, and rowed by an 
Indian, who conveyed me to our mansion, at 
the other extremity of the city. 

I had now travelled seven or eight hundred 
miles, through remote and little frequented parts 
of the country, and had been every day, for 
several weeks, mixing with different people of 
every class, so as to enable me to form some 
estimate of the inhabitants. I had been taught 
to believe that I should find them rough and 
rude in their manners, and strongly and un- 
reasonably prejudiced against all strangers ; so 
indolent, that they neglected all the advantages 
of their fine country, and so ignorant that they 
not only knew nothing themselves, but were 
utterly indifferent in searching for any source 
of information ; of quick and irritable temper, 

VOL. II. u 


readily disposed to take and resent an offence, 
even by the assassination of the offender ; of a 
churlish and inhospitable disposition, not in- 
clined to admit others into their houses, and, 
though selfishly ready to receive, never known 
to return an invitation ; so mercenary, that 
they would take all they could get, but would 
give nothing without more than an adequate 
return ; so sensual, that they indulged their 
propensities in this way without much restraint 
from the laws of morality or religion, and every 
house a family brothel ; so dishonest, that 
nothing was safe with a traveller, and the roads 
so insecure, and murders so frequent, that the 
fatal spots were marked at every hundred yards, 
where bodies have been found, and numerous 
others were never discovered, till their saddles 
were seen rising up in judgment, on the tops of 
trees, from the pits into which they were thrown. 
Such was the opinion I had been taught to 
entertain before I left England, which my ex- 
perience of the people has enabled me to ap- 

Though sometimes rough and unpolished, 
they are remarkably kind and good natured; 
and their former prejudice against strangers 
never renders them hostile, or even uncivil. 
On the contrary, stranger, with them, seems a 


sacred name, when he stands in need of their 
assistance. I was, in many places, without 
introduction or equipage, travel-worn, soiled 
and neglected in my person, and exceedingly 
unprepossessing, I imagine, in my appearance. 
Yet I was kindly received as an inmate into 
the houses of the only persons to whom I 
applied, and those in every rank of life : — a 
titled Dona, a Brazilian gentleman, and the 
humble keeper of a poor rancho, the occupier 
of a small room, all equally received me with 
cordial hospitality, and gave up their own ne- 
cessary comforts for my accommodation. 

If they are indolent, it has hitherto been for 
want of a proper stimulant, and the baneful and 
enervating effects of having all their labour per- 
formed, and their wants supplied, by slaves. 
Where a due incentive is applied, there are no 
people more active. Since the opening of the 
interior, and a free communication with other 
countries, new roads have been pushed into 
deserts, where human foot, except that of the sa- 
vage, never trod ; and plantations of food begun, 
where nothing but wood and bushes had before 
been since the creation. Indeed, the increasing 
intercourse on the roads, and the transportation 
of produce from place to place, is more active 
than I have seen it in any country, except 



England. All the wild mountain-passes were 
covered with troperos, the ranchos never empty 
of their mules, and the bustle and activity of 
Porto d'Estrella, which continues every day, and 
all day long, such as I have only seen at 
crowded fairs or markets, which recur perio- 
dically in other countries. 

If they are ignorant, it is not from any want 
of a desire for knowledge, or a disposition 
to learn. When the post arrives at S. Jose, 
or a similar place, the office is crowded with 
people, who come for their newspapers, and 
others who press forward eager to know 
what they contain ; and every provincial town 
has now a newspaper of its own. In the 
serra of Lenheiros, they have established a 
respectable public library at S. Joao d'el Rey, 
with a literary society ; and schools of pri- 
mary instruction are opened, wherever there 
is a collection of houses to supply scholars, 
who are so eager to learn, that in some 
places, for want of books, they are instructed 
out of manuscripts ; and along the roads, the 
humblest people were glad to receive, and ready 
to give, any useful information. 

If they are a people of a quick or irritable 
temper, it is the constitutional fault of a tropical 
climate, and they seldom carry it to a fatal 


excess. Duelling, that flagrant violation of the 
laws of God and man, so common among us, is 
never heard of in Brazil, and assassinations are 
more talked of than committed. It is a vulgar 
prejudice, that all crosses set up intimate mur- 
der. Of the hundreds we met, there were but 
two, as far as we could learn, that denoted it ; 
and but one murder attended with robbery ; 
the rest were land-marks, road-marks, pious- 
marks, or marks to indicate sudden death from 
accidental or natural causes ; most of them now 
very old and rotten, and apparently the most 
recent of those we saw, was dated in the year 
1810, affording a presumption that no accident 
of the kind it intimates, had occurred for twenty 

If they are not inclined to invite people to 
their houses, it is not from a churlish dispo- 
sition, but because their houses are not fitted 
up for, or they themselves in the habit of such 
intercourse. Their females are retiring and 
domestic, and our modes of company would 
break in on the whole economy of their 
establishment. They are, however, prompt and 
pleased in returning the obligation by any other 
courtesy or civility in their power. A mer- 
cenary people, I should suppose, they are not 
at all. Whenever I paid for any thing, the 


demand was something exceedingly fair and 
moderate ; and on some occasions, when I re- 
ceived money's worth, no remuneration would 
be accepted. The proprietor of a topaz mine 
suffered me to pick up his gems, and put them 
in my pocket ; and the proprietor of a gold 
mine presented me with a paper of his pre- 
cious metal, and positively declined any return. 
If they indulge in illicit intercourse, we should 
recollect that one of the baneful effects of sla- 
very, is to form such connexions ; that a Bra- 
zilian residing by himself, insulated in a desert, 
and having none of the restraints which the 
opinions of society impose, to hinder him, rea- 
dily adopts such a practice, and lives with his 
female slaves, as with persons who are unworthy 
of the rank or station of his wife. When he 
does form a legitimate connexion, the laws of 
marriage are as much respected as in any 
country in Europe, and almost every Brazilian 
has a greater number than usual of lawful 
children, by women who are remarkable for 
correctness of conduct, and domestic duties. 
Connexions of nearer kindred than are allowed 
with us are very usual, but they are sanctioned 
by the example of crowned heads, both in Spain 
and Portugal, — such as a man marrying the 
child of his brother and sister. Even the 


connexion of still nearer relatives, I am sorry to 
say, takes place ; but it is very rare, and pointed 
at ; and, as far as I could learn, as much stig- 
matized by public reprobation as in this coun- 
try. Two persons were shown to me as living 
in this way, and with expressions of horror by 
my informant. It is true that I did meet in the 
woods of the serra of Mantiqueira, one mixed 
family of blacks and whites, who exhibited in 
their dances painful indications of licentious 
habits ; but I believe they were all born in 
slavery, and displayed rather examples of that 
demoralizing state, than of the general character 
of the Brazilians. 

But of all charges, that of dishonesty and 
robbery seems most unfounded, and I know 
no country through which I would now travel 
with a greater feeling of security. In the 
vicinity of Rio a robbery is sometimes com- 
mitted on the hills by fugitive slaves, and in 
the low grounds, about the bay, by vagrant 
sailors ; but when the serra is once passed, there 
is no further danger. My friend, Mr. Duval, 
travelled for weeks together through the coun- 
try, by night and day ; he no where hesitated to 
enter a wood, or stop at a solitary rancho, and 
never felt himself, nor heard from others, any 
cause for the apprehension of danger. Whatever 


is forgotten at the little ranchos on the road, is 
found untouched when the passenger returns. 
Mr. Milward left articles coming up, which had 
escaped his memory ; they were kept for him as 
a solemn deposit, and delivered to him when we 
were going back. The miserable places called 
quartos, afford little protection against thieves, 
and the open ranchos still less ; yet we never 
lost the smallest article when together, nor I 
by myself, when we separated. But there is 
one experiment of mine, which, I cannot help 
thinking, is highly creditable to the native in- 
tegrity of the people. It was universally be- 
lieved, and the report went every where before 
me, that I was bringing with me a chest of 
gold from the mines, and I was in a state utterly 
helpless and unprotected, being myself a total 
stranger, and having no one with me but a 
poor despised negro for a guide, who was held 
in no more estimation than the mule he led. 
I passed through solitary countries, where 
there was neither police to hunt out a delin- 
quent, a prison to put him in if he was caught, 
nor a judge to condemn him if he was guilty. 
I was carrying an object of great temptation 
and cupidity, inviting, as it were, the people 
to come, and carry it off, who were themselves 
prejudiced and angry at the very act of my 


taking it out of the country, and I met them 
every day in lonely mountains and wild woods, 
where I might disappear with my treasure, and 
no question or inquiry be ever made after me 
again. Yet I brought my chest of supposed 
gold, perfectly safe, through a people who 
seemed to think it was their property, and that 
I had no right to take it away, an instance of 
forbearance in this lawless country, as you and 
others are pleased to call it, which, I doubt, 
would not happen in England at the present 
day, or in Ireland either, since the days of 
" rich and rare." 

With respect to the climate, it is impossible 
to commend too highly either its temperature 
or its salubrity. At S. Jose, during the chuve 
fria, and its continuance, the sensation of cold 
was disagreeable, and the thermometer fell to 
64° Fahr. Its greatest range was from that to 
79°, but it generally stood at 69° and 70°; that, 
you will recollect, was a midsummer heat, and 
the general feel of the air was quite refreshing 
and delightful. But it was also the rainy season, 
a mortal period in every other tropical climate. 
For eight or nine hours a day, during some 
weeks, I never had a dry shirt on me, and the 
clothes I divested myself of at night, I put 
on quite wet in the morning. When it did 


not rain, which was very rare, there shone 
out in some places a burning sun, and we 
went smoking along, the wet exhaling by the 
heat, as if we were dissolving into vapour. 
Such weather in Africa, in a corresponding 
latitude, no human constitution could bear ; 
and almost every European who has encountered 
it, has fallen a victim to it. But not so in 
Brazil; no one is affected by those states of 
the atmosphere which are so mortal else- 
where. For myself, I never enjoyed higher 
health or spirits, than when I was actually 
dissolving in sun or rain, either by heat or wet. 
It appears to me then, that the account left 
by Cambrensis, of the ancient salubrity of 
Ireland, may be also applied to modern Brazil ;* 
and it has with some reason grown into a 
proverb, that it is a country where a physician 
cannot live, and yet he never dies. There 
was no doctor at S. Jose, but I was told there 
had been two at S. Joao d'el Rey, and that one 
of them had left because he could get no 
patients, and that the other, for a long time, 
had no patient but himself. 

The varied face of nature also, is another 

* " Aeris tanta est dementia, ut nee nebula inficiens, nee spiritus 
hie pestilens, nee aura corrumpens ; medicorum opera parum indiget." 
— Camb. cap. 9. 


striking circumstance in this country. In the 
course of my journey I passed over six different 
surfaces, strikingly distinguished from each 
other in their aspect, formation, and produc- 
tions. The first was the Beira-mar, the rich plain 
which extended from the edge of the sea to the 
base of the great serra, generally about sixty 
miles in breadth. This is, with some exceptions, 
a flat surface, with an alluvial or sandy soil, 
exceedingly fertile, covered with fazendas, and 
generally well cultivated ; in which the original 
forests of the country have been almost entirely 
superseded by bananas, mangas, and other fruit- 
bearing trees, and the roads lined with clipped 
hedges of mimosa, resembling those of hawthorn 
in England. Among the plants confined to this 
district, and which I did not observe out of it, 
is the balsam,* so highly prized in the East. 
It covers all the trees and hedges with its 
flexible climbing stems, and ornaments them 
with its yellow flowers, and long pendant 
orange pods as large as lemons ; these last 
when touched are very sensitive, immediately 
burst open into separate flakes, which curl up 
and expose on the inside ranges of large flat 
seeds, enveloped in an aril or coat of rich 

* Momordica balsamina. 


scarlet, shining in lucid gum, which, contrasted 
with the bright yellow of the pod, give the plant 
in that state an appearance not less beautiful 
than singular. The Arabs of Egypt and Pales- 
tine, and the Turks of Asia Minor, infuse these 
pods in oil, expose it to the sun till it becomes 
red, and then apply cotton dipped in it to fresh 
wounds, and prize it above the balsam of 
Mecca. I suspect it was originally imported 
from hence with other oriental plants, which 
now are equally common in Brazil, though 
its value as a vulnerary is not yet known or 

Among the insects is an enormous spider, 
which I did not observe elsewhere. In passing 
through an opening between some trees, I felt 
my head entangled in some obstructions, and 
on withdrawing it, my light straw hat remained 
behind. When I looked up, I saw it suspended 
in the air, entangled in the meshes of an im- 
mense cob-web, which was drawn like a veil 
of thick gauze across the opening, and was 
expanded from branch to branch of the op- 
posite trees, as large as a sheet, ten or twelve 
feet in diameter. The whole of this space w T as 
covered with spiders of the same species,* but 
of different sizes ; some of them, when their 

* Aranea maculata. 


legs were expanded, forming a circle of six or 
seven inches in circumference. They were 
particularly distinguished by bright spots. The 
cords composing the web were a glossy yellow, 
like the fibres of silk-worms, and equally strong. 
I wound off several on a card, and they ex- 
tended to the length of three or four yards. 

A gentleman of Languedoc, some time ago 
attempted to establish a manufacture of spider 
silk, and so far succeeded that he made gloves 
and stockings from the fibres of the web ; the 
great objection, however, to his success was, 
the implacable hostility of these insects to each 
other. Reaumur placed five thousand in fifty 
different cells ; but the larger destroyed the 
smaller, till but one or two were left in each cell. 
This objection to the process did not exist in 
this Brazilian species ; for here the insect was 
not solitary, but gregarious ; and colonies of 
more than one hundred occupied the same web, 
and lived in amicable communion together. 
Conde Linhares had intended to make some 
experiments on the tenacious threads of this 
spider, but it remains for others to carry his 
intentions into effect. 

The next diversity of country was the Serra 
Acima — the great ridges of clay covered with 
immense forests of timber. A considerable part 


of these seems to consist of mounds of earth 
without any admixture of rock. We saw, in 
some places, deep sections of the hills where 
either a part had fallen away, or it had been 
cut down. They presented perpendicular faces 
of earth, some of them near a hundred feet 
deep, into which the roots of lofty trees had 
penetrated to an incredible depth, almost re- 
alizing the poet's description,* that they had 
extended as far below, as the branches above 
the surface of the soil. In many of these vast 
heaps of clay, we could not detect a stone as 
large as a boy's marble. 

It was on the summits and sides of these, 
that the primeval forests of the country still 
continue to flourish. Several of the trees were 
distinguished for their beauty and singularity. 
Among them, were the different kinds of the 
embeaporba.f This tree stands with a naked 
stem, surmounted by bare branches, from the 
extremities of which immense palmated leaves 
depend. In some species, these are covered 
on the under side with a hoary down, which, in 
the heat of the day, they turn up to the sun, 
so that whole patches of the surface seemed 

* " Quae quantum vertice ad auras 

iEthereas, tantum radice ad Tartara tendit." — 

Georg. II. 292. 
t Cecropia pellata and palmata. 


covered with rich white blossoms. The flower 
of this tree is highly prized,, as a remedy against 
the bite of serpents ; and its wood is principally 
used in the manufacture of gunpowder, as it 
is soft, and the charcoal made from it very 
inflammable. With this, was strikingly con- 
trasted the coral tree.* Spikes of rich scarlet 
blossoms, of the papilionaceous kind, stood erect 
on the branches, as large as those of a horse- 
chestnut, and gave to the surface a glow of 
the brighest red. A curious peculiarity marked 
its leaves ; the mimosas and acacias that were 
near it, expanded their foliage to the utmost 
in the sun, and closed them up when he was 
obscured by the clouds ; but the erythrina 
seemed actuated by an opposite instinct. It 
closed up its large trefoil leaves in the heat of 
the sun, as if protecting its buds from his burn- 
ing rays. This curious precaution has been 
noticed by the poets : — 

" Whilst Erythrina o'er her tender flower 
Bends all her leaves, and braves the sultry hour." f 

These, with different kinds of melastoma, gave 
to the woods a rich glow; so that the foliage, 
seen on the opposite sides of a sloping glen, 

* Erythrina corallodendron. 

t Darwin. Econ. Veg. Canto IV. 562. 


presented a checkered surface of the most vivid 
and varied hues. These forests still abound 
with Brazil-wood,* which is even found at 
Tijuca in the immediate vicinity of the capital. 
People are prohibited from exporting it, but not 
from cutting it down. It is therefore used for 
the commonest purposes, and, as we saw, often 
mixed with others in building their houses. A 
man may burn, if he pleases, this precious wood 
to dress his food, but he must not sell it. It is 
a large tree with pinnate leaves, and distin- 
guished in the woods by its thorny branches, 
and its echinate or bristly pods. 

But among the trees, which gave the woods, 
to an European, a peculiar character, none was 
more striking than the singularity of the palm- 
trees. These were seen shooting above the 
rest to an immense height, with their long and 
slender stems, crowned with feathery foliage, 
like ostriches' plumes, waving in the air ; and 
of all these, the assaif is the most elegant and 
beautiful. It is the taper palm which yields 
the cabbage. It rises from a slender stem, not 
more than six inches in diameter at the base ; 
and it shoots up to the height sometimes of 
100 feet, or more. The stem is marked by 

* Caesalpinia echinata. 
t Euterpe oleracea. 


annual rings, five or six inches asunder, and 
near the summit is a long succulent cylinder, 
from whence the leaves issue. This green foot- 
stalk contains the embryo of the plant. It con- 
sists of the rudiments of the future leaves, 
beautifully plated, and convoluted at the centre ; 
and their developement from hence forms the 
elegant tuft that crowns the summit. This 
portion is exceedingly tender, yielding a plea- 
sant and wholesome vegetable, like cabbage, 
boiled, and eaten with meat. From all parts 
of the woods, this elegant tree was seen shooting 
above its companions, waving in every breeze 
its long flexible stem, and its tuft of light silken 
leaves. It seemed, indeed, to belong more to 
the sky than the earth ; for in some places, it 
crowned the summits of the highest ridges, and 
was the only one whose foliage was seen pro- 
jected on the blue sky, like Berenice's hair 
floating in the starry firmament; for the stem 
that supported it was so slender, that it could not 
be discerned in the distance. It was with great 
regret I first attacked this beautiful tree, and 
utterly destroyed it for the small portion of its 
esculent part. When we saw it growing on the 
side of a hill, near the road, we seized its taper 
stem, and bent it down, till it snapped off near 
the root, and lay prostrate across the way. 

VOL. II. x 


Here with a faka, we cut off its graceful head, 
and left its body to decay. In any other 
country, this might be deemed a wanton and 
unjustifiable act of destruction; but in this, it 
was only removing that which encumbered the 
soil with its profusion. 

But the destruction of a tree in these woods 
does not lessen the abundance of vegetable life. 
On every blasted stem which had lost its own 
bark and leaves, a crop of parasites had suc- 
ceeded, and covered the naked wood with their 
no less luxuriant leaves and flowers. Of these, 
the different species of air-plants* and barren 
pinesf were the most remarkable. The first 
were no less singular than beautiful ; they attach 
themselves to the dryest and most sapless sur- 
face, and bloom as if issuing from the richest 
soils. A specimen of one of these, which I 
thought curious, I threw into my portmanteau, 
where it was forgotten ; and some months after, 
in unfolding some linen, I was astonished to find 
a rich scarlet flower, of the gynandrous class, 
in full blow: it had not only lived, but vege- 
tated and blossomed, though so long secluded 
from air, light, and humidity. Every withered 
tree here was covered with them, bearing 

* Epidcndron. t Tillandsia. 


flowers of all hues, from the brighest yellow 
to the deepest scarlet. They are easily propa- 
gated by transplating ; and my good friend, 
Colonel Cunningham, had all the trees in his 
garden at Bota Fogo covered with them. The 
barren pine is not less extraordinary. It also 
grows on sapless trees, and never on the ground. 
Its seeds are furnished, on the crown, with a 
long filmy fibre, like the thread of gossamer. 
As they ripen, they are detached, and driven 
with the wind, having the long thread streaming 
behind them. When they meet with the ob- 
struction of a withered branch, the thread is 
caught, and revolving round, the seed at length 
comes into fixed contact with the surface, where 
it soon vegetates, and supplies the naked arm 
with a new foliage. Here it grows, like the 
common plant of a pine apple, and shoots from 
its centre a long spike of bright scarlet blossoms. 
In some species,* the leaves are protuberant 
below, and form vessels like pitchers, which 
catch and retain the rain water, furnishing cool 
and limpid draughts to the heated traveller, 
in elevations where no water is to be found. 
The quantity of fluid contained in these reser- 
voirs is sometimes very considerable ; and in 

• ; Tillandsia, utriculata, and lingulata. 



attempting to reach the flower-stem, I have 
been often drenched by upsetting the plant. 

It is generally supposed that these woods 
abound with birds of all sorts, whose flight and 
note continually enliven the forest ; but nothing 
can be more still and solitary than every thing 
around ; the silence is appalling, and the deso- 
lation is awful ; neither are disturbed by the 
sight or voice of living thing — save one, which 
only adds to the impression. Among the high- 
est trees and in the deepest glens, a sound is 
sometimes heard so singular, that the noise 
seems quite unnatural. It is like the clinking 
of metals, as if two lumps of brass were struck 
together ; and it sometimes resembles the dis- 
tant and solemn tolling of a church bell, struck 
at long intervals. This extraordinary sound 
proceeds from a bird called arapongo, or guira- 
pongo. It is about the size of a small pigeon, 
white, with a circle of red round its eyes. It 
sits on the tops of the highest trees, and in the 
deepest forests ; and though constantly heard 
in the most desert places, is very rarely seen. 
It is impossible to conceive any thing of a more 
solitary character than the profound silence of 
the woods, broken only by the metallic and 
almost preternatural sound of this invisible bird, 
coming from the air, and seeming to follow you 


wherever you go. I have watched with great 
perseverance, when the sound seemed quite 
close to me, and never but once caught a glance 
of the cause. It passed suddenly over the top 
of a very high tree like a large flake of snow, 
and immediately disappeared. 

The next variety of soil is the campos. The 
huge forest-covered mounds of clay suddenly 
cease, and subside into extended undulating 
plains, totally divested of wood, except some 
smaller shrubs. The soil is not of clay or fine 
mould, but generally of shingly or gravelly 
quality, as if formed of the breaking down 
and decomposing of larger rocks. In some 
places they are intersected by romantic wooded 
glens, and in others scored with deep rents or 
rifts, which expose a sandstone clay, tinged with 
many varieties of bright red and purple. When 
we passed, they were clothed with a rich green- 
sward interspersed with flowers ; but in dry 
seasons, they are covered only with the brown 
culms of sundry coarse grasses and sedges. 

Among the few trees found on the plains, are 
various species of solanum. One of them, 
called the Fruta do Lobo,* was exceedingly 
abundant. It is a thorny plant about eight feet 

* Solanum undatum. 


high, with large purple blossoms. It bears an 
enormous fruit, frequently attaining the size of 
a child's head, which is shaken by every wind 
from the trees, and seen rolling about the road. 
It is considered by the natives a powerful re- 
medy against lumbago. 

The birds here were more numerous, and 
their notes more cheerful, than in the dense 
forests we had passed. The most usual and 
attractive is Joao de Barros, or John of the 
Clay, because he always builds a regular house 
of it. We saw this constantly, in shape like 
an Irish cabin, built on the upper side of a 
large branch of a tree, not pendant, but erect. 
It consisted of an edifice, with an arched roof, 
having a corridor, or porch, with a door lead- 
ing to an inner apartment. With a singular 
instinct, the door was always found on the 
side from which the wind less frequently blew ; 
and the edifice was so strong and well con- 
structed, that one has been known to last its 
ingenious architect many winters. The bird 
is about the size of a lark, or larger, and is 
sometimes called the yellow thrush. It is ex- 
ceedingly familiar, and generally found near 
ranchos and villages. Whenever we approached 
we saw John clinging to the branch of a tree, 
in an upright position, announcing our coming 


with a shrill lively note, as if he was the warder 
placed there to warn the inhabitants of the 
arrival of a stranger. His cheerful salutation, 
however, was not confined to human habita- 
tions, but he frequently accosted us far from the 
haunts of men ; and his lively note of welcome 
often met our ear in the most solitary places. 

Another familiar and cheerful bird was the 
Ben te vi, so called from the perfect accuracy 
with which he pronounces these words. He 
is about the size of a sparrow, and distinguished 
by a circle of white round his head, with a 
yellow belly. Whenever we passed, he put 
his head out of the bush, and peeping at us 
from under the leaves, he said, " ben te vi — 
Oh, I saw you!" with an arch expression, as 
if he had observed something which he could 
tell if he pleased. 

The next variety of surface presented to us 
were the rocky serras, which rose like huge 
walls from the surface of the plains, bearing 
in their bosoms the metalliferous veins, and 
impregnating all the soil at their bases with 
the particles of precious ores washed down 
them. The features of this region were very 
extraordinary, and had no kind of affinity with 
the former two. The summits of these naked 
stony ridges were often surmounted by fantastic 


protuberances, which the inhabitants imagined 
had human resemblances. One was called Ita 
Columi, or the Child of Stone; and another, 
Serra da Cara, from its likeness to an enor- 
mous visage. 

From this stony Arabia, we entered into the 
mato, or thicket ; low eminences, covered over 
with copse and brushwood, frequently inter- 
spersed with ferns and brambles, resembling 
similar soil and aspect, in the middle regions 
of Europe. 

Finally, we passed between bristly pikes, and 
conical mountains of bare granite, ascending 
to the sky, with well-defined forms, and smooth 
taper surfaces, not having the most distant 
resemblance to any other objects we had passed. 
Thus, then, in the course of my tour, I visited, 
at no great distances, in the same country, six 
distinct regions, not having any affinity or 
likeness to each other in structure, soil, or 
productions ; and affording a greater variety of 
surface, perhaps, than is to be found in all the 
countries of Europe. 

Among the objects which excited my particular 
attention in the interior, was the state of slavery 
in which the greater part of the population re- 
main; and as it is a subject likely to be one of 
considerable interest in a few months, when the 


total abolition of the slave trade is to take place 
in Brazil, I shall add a few observations, which 
I have gleaned here, to the mass of information 
you are already in possession of. 

The first capture of a negro slave on his own 
soil by the Portuguese, was an event of deep 
importance, and it is particularly described by 
the Portuguese historian Barros.* In the year 
1445, Diniz Fernandez, a citizen of Lisbon, and 
an esquire to the King Dom John, being moved 
by the famous benefits which the Infante had 
bestowed on him, armed a ship with the intent 
to set out on discovery, designing to go beyond 
the boundary which other captains had reached ; 
so having passed the river, now called Senega, 
which divides the land of the Moors from the 
first negroes, he fell in with some barks, in 
which certain blacks had gone out to fish, and 
by the aid of a small boat, which hung over 
the poop of his vessel, he overtook one of the 
barks, in which were four negroes, who were 
the first that came into Portugal. The historian 
eulogizes Diniz, that he did not stop, at the 
time, to make forays into the country, and 
capture more slaves on his own account, but 
brought those he had caught back to his master, 

* Barros, Dec. I. book i. chap. 10. 


who was mightily pleased, not only with the 
discoveries he had made, but with the people 
he carried with him, which had not been de- 
livered from the hands of the Moors, like the 
other negroes, which had up to that time come 
into the kingdom, but had been caught on their 
own soil. Such was the origin of iVfrican slavery, 
which these four unhappy captives have, for 
nearly four centuries, entailed upon their de- 
voted country. 

The first slaves sent to America, I believe, 
was by the Spaniards, who, in the reign of 
Ferdinand and Isabella, exported to the new 
world from Spain, the children and descendants 
of such negroes as had been taken on the coast 
of Africa, with which a traffic had been esta- 
blished by the Portuguese and Spaniards, since 
the first capture by Diniz. The memory of 
the most amiable Bishop of Chiapa has been 
charged with the stigma of having been the 
first to propose this sacrifice of the Africans, 
in order to spare the native Indians, to whom 
he was attached; but it appears that a royal 
decree had been issued for the purpose in 1501, 
and Las Casas did not go to America till 1502 : 
however he might, therefore, from a mistaken 
zeal, approve of the substitution of slavery, he 
was not the originator or prime promoter of it. 


The first African slaves were brought to Hispa- 
niola, when, in 1510, fifty were sent from Seville 
to work in the mines, where the native Indians 
were exterminated by similar labour — " And it 
is a fact worthy of observation," says an Ameri- 
can writer,* " that Hispaniola, the place where 
this flagrant outrage against nature and humanity 
was first introduced into the new world, has 
been the first to exhibit an awful retribution." 

If the Portuguese were the first Europeans 
to make negro slaves, it is but justice to them 
to say, that they were among the first to ex- 
claim against the traffic. In the year 1758, 
Manoel Ribeiro Rocha, an ecclesiastic, pub- 
lished, at Lisbon, a work called " Ethiopia 
Resgatada,"f or Africa redeemed; which made 
at the time a considerable sensation. I had heard 
that copies of it existed in Rio, at the imperial 
library, and that of S. Antonio ; but I searched 
both without effect, and had some reason to 
imagine they had disappeared, when the ques- 
tion of the total abolition of the slave trade 
was a subject of general concern in Brazil. 
The librarian, however, of S. Bento, found 
for me a copy in the library of the convent, 

* Washington Irving. 

f Ethiopia Resgatada, empcnhada, sustendada, instruida e Iibe 
tada. Pelo Padre Manoel Rebeiro llocha. Lisboa, 1758. 


from which I made some extracts, as specimens 
of the notions entertained by the enlightened 
Portuguese, seventy years ago, on the subject. 

The work commences with the following 
commendatory verse : — 

" Obscuros Lybise populos, quos dira coegit 
Servitii injustum sors subiisse jugum ; 
Legali redimit ductu Ribeiron, et illis 
Ad libertatem nobile pandit iter." 

On the condition of a slave, he says, " The 
greatest misfortune that can happen to man 
is slavery. He becomes liable to all the miseries 
which are contrary and repugnant to his nature 
and constitution ; for being little less than the 
angels, he descends from his rank in the crea- 
tion, and becomes lower than the brute. While 
alive, slavery considers him as dead ; while free, 
as subject ; while born to rule and possess, 
as being born only to be ruled and possessed. 
The slave labours without relief, fatigues him- 
self without profit ; his subsistence is the most 
vile ; his dress the most coarse ; his repose 
on some hard board, or on the cold earth 

On the manner of making slaves, he says, 
" Some by force or fraud are dragged to the 
ships of the Portuguese ; others, without any 


fault of their own, are condemned, with their 
wives, children, and relatives, to perpetual sla- 
very, for some imputed delinquency of their 
father. Some are captives, taken in an unjust 
war, and then sold as slaves, because they 
are prisoners ; since these barbarous African 
chiefs, who are excited to wage these wars, 
know nor care nothing of its rights, but the 
stronger plunders his neighbour. Some, with- 
out any such necessity, are sold by their own 
parents, seduced by the bribes of Europeans. 
Some, by the fraudulent charge of homicide, 
which, though the cause of the man's death 
be not known, is made the pretext of drag- 
ging and selling whole families into perpetual 

On the light in which it ought to be con- 
sidered, he observes, " The whole of this traffic 
in Guinea, Angola, and Caffraria, is illegal, 
and ought to be condemned as a deadly crime 
against christian charity and common justice ; 
and the excuse of purchasing slaves, in infidel 
countries, and transporting them from thence, 
to sell them, is most iniquitous, and a mortal 
sin, which nothing but invincible ignorance 
could excuse, which no slave-merchant can 
ever dare to plead." 

Among the remedies he proposes ; — " That 


as captives, slaves are equal to their masters 
by the rights of nature, though in servitude 
by the chance of war ; those already in bondage 
shall be liberated when they have served their 
masters jive years, a period of time sufficient 
to repay them for their purchase-money ; and 
that as any attacks (assaltos) on native Africans, 
to make them captives, is not legitimate war, 
but plunder and robbery, it ought to be regu- 
lated by the same laws, and visited by the same 
punishment as piracy." 

These sentiments seem to have anticipated 
those of the people of England ; and one of 
the proposals, making the slave trade piracy, 
has been since adopted by us ; it would be well 
if we were to take the other into consideration 
also. A law does exist in Brazil, by which a 
slave is entitled to his manumission at the 
end of ten years, but it is always evaded. 

The clergy, however, had not all adopted 
the humane and just opinions of Ribeiro. The 
Bishop of Pernambuco, in 1808, published his 
"Analysis"* of the justice of redeeming slaves; 
"to unmask," as he said, ■' the insidious prin- 
ciples of a sect of philosophers, and take out of 
the mouths of his flock the apple of the infernal 

* Analyse sopra Justicia do Commercio do resgate dos Escravos. 
Pelo Joze Joaquim da Cunha. Bispo de Pernambuco. Lisboa, 1808. 


serpent." He divides his work into eighteen pro- 
positions. One of them is, " That the commerce 
of slavery is a law dictated by circumstances to 
barbarous nations, for the greater good and the 
lesser evil." Another, " That slaves ought to 
be protected by the laws only as minors, with- 
out presuming to enter into judgment with 
their masters ; for, if they had the power of 
complaining to a magistrate, of citing their mas- 
ters to any discussion, it would excite a civil 
war in families, which would soon become 
general with all parties in the state." With 
such doctrines, promulgated by such authority, 
a poor slave had but little chance of benefiting 
by his act of manumission. 

In the year 1815, a treaty was made with 
Portugal, and signed at Vienna, on the 23d 
of January, for the immediate abolition of the 
slave trade in all parts to the north of the 
equator ; the contracting parties being ani- 
mated, as the words of the treaty express it, 
" by a sincere desire to accelerate the moment 
when the blessing of peaceful industry, and 
innocent commerce, may be encouraged, 
through the extensive portion of the continent 
of Africa by this abolition." By the first arti- 
cle, the subjects of Portugal are prohibited from 
purchasing slaves, or carrying on the slave trade 


at any part of the coast to the north of the 
line, on any pretence whatever ; and by the 
fourth article, it was engaged to determine a 
future period, when the slave trade should 
be abolished altogether. 

On the 18th of July, 1817, a further con- 
vention was made on the subject, to adopt the 
means of preventing the practice in prohibited 
places, and it was provided that the ships of 
war of each nation should respectively visit 
merchant vessels that may be suspected, on 
reasonable grounds, of carrying on the illicit 
traffic, and detain them, if they have slaves 
on board, and send them for adjudication, as 
soon as possible, where there is a competent 
tribunal to try the cause ; for which purpose, 
two mixed commissions, consisting of an equal 
number of English and Portuguese, shall be 
established, — one to reside in the dominions 
of his Britannic Majesty, on the coast of Africa, 
and the other in Brazil. 

Upon the separation of the empire of Brazil 
from the kingdom of Portugal, the sovereigns 
of Great Britain and Brazil respectively ac- 
knowledge the obligation which devolves upon 
them, to renew and confirm the regulations 
for the final abolition of the slave trade ; it 
was agreed, therefore, on the 3d of November, 


1826, by a convention at Rio, that at the expi- 
ration of three years, to be reckoned from the 
exchange of the ratifications of the treaty, it 
should not be lawful for the subjects of the 
Emperor of Brazil to be concerned in carrying 
on the slave trade, under any pretext, or in 
any manner whatever ; and the carrying on of 
such trade, after that period, by any person, 
subject to His Imperial Majesty, should be 
deemed and treated as piracy. Four months were 
allowed for the exchange of ratifications, which 
took place within that time. An act passed 
the English Parliament, on the 2d of July, 1827, 
to carry into execution this convention ; and, 
on the 23d of March, 1830, the permission of 
the Brazilians to trade to the south of the 
line ceases, and from that time the traffic is 
to be totally abolished, and treated as piracy 
wherever it is carried on. 

Immediately on signing the convention, the 
people of Brazil became greatly alarmed at the 
supposed consequences that would ensue to the 
country, if they were allowed to import no more 
slaves to do their ordinary labour. A consider- 
able part, therefore, of the capital of the country 
was embarked in the traffic, to make the great- 
est possible use of it as long as it was permitted. 
In 1820, the number of slaves imported into 



Rio, was 15,020 ; but in 1828 they increased 
to the immense number of 43,555 ; and, cal- 
culating on the number imported for the first 
quarter, it was supposed that 52,600 would 
enter the port of Rio alone, before the expira- 
tion of 1829.* In the year 1806, the number 
imported into the whole country amounted only 
to 38,000. Thus, while we in England imagined 
that the traffic was nearly extinguished in all 
christian countries, it was increasing in one town 
alone, in a proportion frightful beyond all com- 
parison, and that in a free constitutional state, 
under the new order of things. There is now, 
however, such a glut of human flesh in the 
markets of Rio, that it has become an unpro- 
fitable drug. Ten years' credit is allowed to 
the purchaser ; and you will not be displeased 
to hear, that many speculators have been ruined 
by their unholy importations. 

When a cargo of slaves arrives, it is 
generally purchased by people who are called 
ciganos, or gipsies, and who nearly resemble 
all the individuals of the race which I have 

* The following is the return made in a progressive ratio for the 
last nine years : — 

1820 15,020 I 1823 20,349 

1821 24,134 1824 29,503 

1822 27,363 | 1825 26,254 

1826 33,999 

1827 29,787 

1828 43,555 

1829 to March 13,459. 


seen in different parts of the world. They 
have dark olive complexions, black eyes and 
hair, in common with many Brazilians ; but 
they have that obliquity of aspect, and sinister 
expression of countenance, that at once marks 
them as a peculiar race ; and on all occasions 
they display a callosity of feeling, and a fero- 
cious and wild temper, that assimilates them 
with their kind, and unfortunately fits them 
for the traffic which they almost exclusively 
exercise in Rio. It is generally supposed they 
were among the delinquents, which were early 
sent from Portugal to people the new world, 
where they have multiplied, and, as elsewhere, 
preserved their caste. 

The place where the great slave mart is held, 
is a long winding street called the Vallongo, 
which runs from the sea, at the northern ex- 
tremity of the city. Almost every house in this 
place is a large ware-room, where the slaves 
are deposited, and customers go to purchase. 
These ware-rooms stand at each side of the 
street, and the poor creatures are exposed for 
sale like any other commodity. When a cus- 
tomer comes in, they are turned up before him ; 
such as he wishes are handled by the purchaser 
in different parts, exactly as I have seen but- 
chers feeling a calf; and the whole examination 



is the mere animal capability, without the re- 
motest inquiry as to the moral quality, which a 
man no more thinks of, than if he was buying 
a dog or a mule. I have frequently seen Bra- 
zilian ladies at these sales. They go dressed, 
sit down, handle and examine their purchases, 
and bring them away with the most perfect 
indifference. I sometimes saw groups of well- 
dressed females here, shopping for slaves, ex- 
actly as I have seen English ladies amusing 
themselves at our bazaars. 

There was no circumstance which struck 
me with more melancholy reflections than this 
market, which I felt a kind of morbid curiosity 
in seeing, as a man looks at objects which excite 
his strongest interests, while they shock his best 
feelings. The ware-rooms are spacious apart- 
ments, where sometimes three or four hundred 
slaves, of all ages and both sexes, are exhibited 
together. Round the room are benches on 
which the elder generally sit, and the middle is 
occupied by the younger, particularly females, 
who squat on the ground stowed close to- 
gether, with their hands and chins resting on 
their knees. Their only covering is a small 
girdle of cross-barred cotton, tied round the 

The first time I passed through this street, 


I stood at the bars of the window looking 
through, when a cigano came and pressed me 
to enter. I was particularly attracted by a 
group of children, one of whom, a young girl, 
had something very pensive and engaging in 
her countenance. The cigano observing me 
look at her, whipped her up with a long rod, 
and bade her with a rough voice to come for- 
ward. It was quite affecting to see the poor 
timid shrinking child standing before me, in a 
state the most helpless and forlorn, that ever a 
being, endued, like myself, with a reasonable 
mind and an immortal soul, could be reduced 
to. Some of these girls have remarkably sweet 
and engaging countenances. Notwithstanding 
their dusky hue, they look so modest, gentle 
and sensible, that you could not for a moment 
hesitate to acknowledge, that they are endued 
with a like feeling and a common nature with 
your own daughters. The seller was about to 
put the child into all the attitudes, and display 
her person in the same way, as he would a 
man ; but I declined the exhibition, and she 
shrunk timidly back to her place, and seemed 
glad to hide herself in the group that surrounded 

The men were generally less interesting 
objects than the women; their countenances 


and hues were very varied,, according to the 
part of the African coast from which they 
came ; some were soot black, having a certain 
ferocity of aspect that indicated strong and 
fierce passions, like men who were darkly brood- 
ing over some deep-felt wrongs, and meditating 
revenge. When any one was ordered, he came 
forward with a sullen indifference, threw his 
arms over his head, stamped with his feet, 
shouted to show the soundness of his lungs, 
ran up and down the room, and was treated 
exactly like a horse, put through his paces at a 
repository; and when done, he was whipped to 
his stall. 

The heads of the slaves, both male and 
female, were generally half shaved; the hair 
being left only on the fore part. A few of the 
females had cotton handkerchiefs tied round 
their heads, which, with some little ornaments 
of native seeds or shells, gave them a very 
engaging appearance. A number, particularly 
the males, were affected with eruptions of a 
white scurf, which had a loathsome appearance, 
like a leprosy. It was considered, however, 
a wholesome effort of nature, to throw off the 
effects of the salt provisions used during the 
voyage; and, in fact, it resembles exactly a 
saline concretion. 


Many of them were lying stretched on the 
bare boards; and among the rest, mothers with 
young children at their breasts, of which they 
seemed passionately fond. They were all doomed 
to remain on the spot, like sheep in a pen, till 
they were sold ; they have no apartment to retire 
to, no bed to repose on, no covering to protect 
them ; they sit naked all day, and lie naked 
all night, on the bare boards, or benches, where 
we saw them exhibited. 

Among the objects that attracted my atten- 
tion in this place were some young boys, who 
seemed to have formed a society together. I 
observed several times in passing by, that the 
same little group was collected near a barred 
window ; they seemed very fond of each other, 
and their kindly feelings were never inter- 
rupted by peevishness; indeed, the temperament 
of a negro child is generally so sound, that he 
is not affected by those little morbid sensations, 
which are the frequent cause of crossness and 
ill-temper in our children. I do not remember, 
that I ever saw a young black fretful, or out of 
humour ; certainly never displaying those fero- 
cious fits of petty passion, in which the superior 
nature of infant whites indulges. I sometimes 
brought cakes and fruit in my pocket, and 
handed them in to the group. It was quite 


delightful to observe the generous and disin- 
terested manner in which they distributed them. 
There was no scrambling with one another; no 
selfish reservation to themselves. The child 
to whom I happened to give them, took them 
so gently, looked so thankfully, and distributed 
them so generously, that I could not help 
thinking that God had compensated their dusky 
hue, by a more than usual human portion of 
amiable qualities. 

A. great number of those who arrive at Rio 
are sent up the country , and we every day met 
cofllas, such as Mungo Park describes in Africa, 
winding through the woods, as they travelled 
from place to place in the interior. They 
formed long processions, following one another 
in a file; the slave-merchant, distinguished by 
his large felt hat and puncho, bringing up the 
rear on a mule, with a long lash in his hand. 
It was another subject of pity, to see groups of 
these poor creatures cowering together at night 
in the open ranchos, drenched with cold rain, in 
a climate so much more frigid than their own. 

A slave pays to government ten per cent, on 
the first price, and the same sum every time he 
is purchased again. On proceeding into the 
interior, he pays five and a half milreis when 
leaving Rio, and five and a-half on passing the 


Rio Preto, and thirty vintems on crossing the 
bridge of the Parahiba; so that every one sold 
at the Vallongo for 250 milreis, and brought 
to the Minas Geraes, and there sold again, 
pays to government 61,600 reis, or about 8/. at 
the present currency. If, therefore, out of the 
number imported into Rio, 30,000 be annually 
sent up the country, the whole will produce to 
government a revenue of 240,000/. per annum 
from Rio alone. To consent, then, to the abo- 
lition of the slave trade, attended with such a 
serious deduction from the embarrassed revenues 
of the country, was no small sacrifice on the 
part of the government, and affords a strong 
presumption that the emperor is very sincere, 
in his humane wishes for the entire extinction 
of this traffic. 

The number of blacks, and mulatto offspring 
of blacks, in the country, is now estimated at 
2,500,000, while the whites are but 850,000; 
so that the former exceed the latter in the pro- 
portion of three to one. From this great supe- 
riority, serious apprehensions have long been 
entertained, that some time or other, in the 
present diffusion of revolutionary doctrines on 
this continent, they will discover their own 
strength, assert independence for themselves, 
and Brazil become a second St. Domingo. This 


is particularly the case at Bahia and Pernam- 
buco, where almost all the negroes are brought 
from the same part of the coast of Africa ; and 
there is a general union and understanding 
among them, as speaking the same language, and 
feeling an identity of interests ; and here several 
conspiracies have been formed, and risings 
attempted. In April, 1828, a partial insurrec- 
tion took place in some engenhos at Bahia, 
and apprehensions were entertained that it had 
ramified to Pernambuco. But at Rio the case 
is different. The negro population consists of 
eight or nine different castes, having no common 
language, and actuated by no sympathetic tie ; 
insomuch so, that they frequently engage in 
feuds and combats, where one, or even two 
hundred of a nation on each side are engaged. 
This animosity the whites cherish, and endea- 
vour to keep alive, as intimately connected with 
their own safety. 

The difference of caste is very strongly marked 
in the colour of their skin, and still more in the 
expression of their countenance, to a degree of 
which I had no conception. Before I went to 
Brazil, I could no more distinguish one black 
from another, than I could sheep in a flock; 
but in this country, it struck me that the variety 
of the human face was still more strongly marked 


in the black than in the white colour : the 
gradation of the latter was only from handsome 
to ugly, but of the former, from handsome to 
hideous; and I think I have met among these 
dark visages, some of the most engaging and 
some of the most revolting aspects in nature. 
This diversity is attended with disunion and 
separation, on which the Brazilians lay great 

The superiority of the coloured population is 
not greater in number than it is in physical 
powers. Some of the blacks and mulattos are 
the most vigorous and athletic looking persons 
that it is possible to contemplate, and who would 
be models for a Farnesian Hercules. Their 
natural muscular frame is hardened and im- 
proved by exercise ; and when the fibres are 
swelled out in any laborious action, they exhibit 
a magnificent picture of strength and activity. 
Their faka, or long knife, they use with tre- 
mendous effect. They sometimes hurl it, as 
an Indian does his tomahawk, with irresistible 
force, and drive the blade, at a considerable 
distance, through a thick deal board. In this 
respect, they are strongly contrasted with the 
flabby Brazilians of Portuguese descent, who 
look the very personification of indolence and 
inactivity; and should they ever unhappily come 


into contact with their vigorous opponents in 
the field, it would seem as if they would be 
crushed at once, under the mere physical weight 
of their antagonists. 

This muscular strength, however, is not uni- 
versal, but only displayed by the natives of 
particular districts in Africa. The principal 
marts from whence they are brought, are An- 
gola, Congo, Angico, Gaboon, and Mosambique. 
Those of Angola are the most highly esteemed, 
and are in every respect the most tractable, and 
next to them the natives of Congo. The 
Angicos are tall and robust, and their skins 
jetty black and shining. They are generally 
distinguished by their singular mode of tat- 
tooing, which consists of three gashes made in 
each cheek, and extending, in a circular form, 
from the ear to the angle of the mouth. The 
Gaboons are also tall and comely, with great 
muscular strength ; they are, however, less 
esteemed, from their exceeding impatience of 
the state of slavery to which they are reduced. 
They are greatly addicted to suicide, and take 
the first opportunity of destroying themselves. 
Instances have occurred, where a lot of eighteen 
or twenty, purchased together, have made a 
determination not to live ; and in a short time 
they all stabbed themselves, or sunk rapidly 


under an insupportable feeling of despondency. 
The people of Mosambique include generally all 
those of Southern Africa. They are distin- 
guished by their diminutive stature and feeble 
limbs, but still more by their colour, inclining to 
brown, and some even as light as mulattos. It 
is remarkable that vigour and muscularity 
in a negro seem intimately connected with 
his hue ; the distinctive characteristic of the 
race is a black skin, and the more dark the 
exterior the more perfect seems the person ; and 
as it recedes from its own and approaches to our 
colour, it is proportionately imperfect. 

From the operation of the abolition laws, and 
the activity of our cruisers to the north of the 
line in enforcing them, the trade for slaves, in 
the last ten years, has been directed to the 
coast of Africa on both sides of the Cape of 
Good Hope, and the negro race in Brazil has 
sensibly deteriorated ; they seem to approach 
the character of Caffres or Hottentots ; and I 
have more than once seen among them persons 
distinguished by the peculiarity that marked the 
Venus from that country, exhibited in England 
some years ago. One was a girl of fourteen, of 
most extraordinary proportions. This race is 
particularly noted for a propensity to eat lime 
and earth ; whether it be from a determination 


not to live, or from a morbid and irrepressible 
appetite for such things, like some diseased 
children, they persist in it with the most ob- 
stinate perseverance, notwithstanding they are 
severely flogged, till they at length sink under 
it. They are distinguished also by their extra- 
ordinary mode of tattooing ; the flesh is raised 
into protuberances, so as to form a succession of 
knobs, like a string of beads, from their forehead 
to the tip of their nose, and very frequently the 
upper lip is perforated by a hole, through which 
the teeth are seen. 

Notwithstanding the antipathies which the 
different tribes bring with them from their own 
country, and the petty feuds they excite in Brazil, 
cherished and promoted by the whites, there is 
often a bond which connects them as firmly as if 
they had belonged all to the same race, and that 
is a community of misery in the ships in which 
they are brought over. The people so united 
by this temporary association, are called Malun- 
goes ; they continue attached to each other 
ever after, and when separated, are quite re- 
joiced if they meet again. 

The negroes bring with them their language 
and usages, which are found in Brazil as recent 
and original as on the coast of Africa, from 
whence they only just arrive. The language 


is so diversified by dialects, that different 
tribes do not understand each other. When 
those of the same caste work together, they 
move to the sound of certain words, sung in a 
kind of melancholy cadence, commenced in a 
tenor tone by one part, and concluded in a base 
by the other. A long line of negroes, with 
burdens on their heads, sing it as they go along, 
and it is heard every day, and in almost every 
street in Rio. This, which seems a regular 
national song, I was particularly curious to 
know the import of, but no one could interpret 
the words for me, and the negroes, when asked, 
either did not, or pretended not to know, as if 
it was something occult, which they made a 
mystery of. The following is the notation of 
one of the airs or tunes to which the words are 
chanted, taken down on the spot by Mr. 

First ****■ ^ Second Party. 

^P ^Pffi P" 

Their music consists of several different in- 
struments ; the first is a rude guitar, composed 
of a calabash, fasted to a bar of wood, which 
forms a neck to the shell ; over this is stretched a 
single string of gut, which is played on by a rude 


bow of horse-hair ; and by moving the finger up 
and down along the gut, three or four notes are 
elicited, of a very plaintive sound. The minstrel 
is generally surrounded by a group sitting in 
a circle, who all unite their voices as accom- 
paniments to the music. The next is half a 
calabash, containing within it a number of small 
bars of iron parallel to each other, with one 
extremity flat, presenting a surface like the keys 
of a harpsichord : this he holds in both hands, 
and presses with his thumbs, in succession, the 
flat bars, which emit a tinkling sound like a 
spinet. This instrument is very universal. 
Every poor fellow who can, procures one of 
those ; and as he goes along under his burden, 
continues to elicit from it simple tones, which 
seem to lighten his load, as if it was his grata 
testudo, laborum dulce lenimen. A third is a single 
string stretched on a bamboo, such as I have 
described to you before at Chapado do Mato, in 
the Minas Geraes. 

These instruments are used by themselves or 
accompanied by the voice ; and, I think, are 
called by the general name of merimba, though 
the word is more particularly applied to the 
bars of iron. There are others used as* accom- 
paniments to dancing, of which the negroes are 
passionately fond. One is a hollow trunk of a 


tree, covered at one end with a piece of tense 
leather ; on this the performer gets astride, and 
strikes it with the palms of his hands, eliciting a 
very loud sound, which is heard to a consider- 
able distance. This " spirit-stirring drum" has 
a powerful effect on all the negroes within the 
extent of its sound. There is a small green at 
S. Jose, near the Chafariz, where the negroes 
assemble every Sunday evening to dance. Here 
the performer bestrides his drum, and assembles 
the dancers by the sound. The first strokes, 
which are heard all around, produce an electric 
effect ; they rush to the spot from all quarters, 
and in a little time they are worked up to a 
degree of hilarity little short of frenzy. They 
dance, sing, shout, and scream till the whole 
neighbourhood echoes with their noise. 

As a substitute for this drum, they sometimes 
use bones, which the dancers strike together. 
These are accompanied by an instrument the 
size of a pepper-box, having some rattling sub- 
stance inside. This is attached to a handle, 
which one holds over the heads of the rest ; and 
while they strike the bones he rattles the box, 
and so the time is regulated. This mode of 
directing the dance, I have seen at the Matanza. 

The dances begin with a slow movement of 
two persons, who approach each other with a 

VOL. II. z 


shy and diffident air, and then recede bashful 
and embarrassed; by degrees, the time of the 
music increases, the diffidence wears off, and 
the dance concludes with indecencies not fit to 
be seen or described. Sometimes it is of a dif- 
ferent character, attended with jumping, shouting, 
and throwing their arms over each other's heads, 
and assuming the most fierce and stern aspects. 
The first is a dance of love, and the latter of 
war. Dancing seems the great passion of the 
negro, and the great consolation which makes 
his slavery tolerable. Whenever I have seen a 
group of them meeting in the street or the road, 
or at the door of a venda, they always got up a 
dance ; and if there was no instrument in com- 
pany, which rarely happened, they supplied its 
place with their voice. At all the fazendas, 
where there is a number together, Saturday 
night is usually devoted to a ball, after the la- 
bours of the week. A fire of wood or the 
heads of milho is lighted up in a hut, where 
they assemble, and they continue dancing till 
light in the morning. 

The obeah man in Brazil is called Mandin- 
geiros, because he comes from the Mandingos, 
near Senegal. He is not at all so formidable 
a person, nor does he exercise such powerful 
fascinations as elsewhere, probably because the 


country from which he came has been for some 
time interdicted, and the practice is not kept 
up in other tribes, and so is fallen into 

The patriarchal feeling, however, that con- 
siders a tribe as a family, the members as 
brothers, and the prince as the father, still 
strongly subsists. They believe that the tie of 
allegiance to the prince never ceases under any 
change of circumstances, no more than the 
obligation due from a son to a father. These 
princes, therefore, are frequently seen sitting 
on a stone in the street, surrounded by a crowd 
who come to them for judgment. At the corner 
of the Travessa de S. Antonio, where it opens 
into the Rua do Cane, is a curb stone or post, 
which was pointed out to me, as being for many 
years the throne of an African prince from An- 
gola. Every evening after the labours of the 
day, and on Sundays and holidays at any hour, 
he was found on the spot, holding his court, 
and a number of blacks around him, appealing to 
and submitting to his decrees. He was a strong 
athletic young man, of general good conduct, 
and comported himself with spirit and dignity in 
his regal situation. If a black, for any offence 
committed against his brother, deserved punish- 
ment, it was inflicted with a stick by an officer 



in attendance. He of course took cognizance 
of matters only occurring between themselves, 
and his jurisdiction was not objected to by the 
police, because it tended to good manners. He 
had, a short time before my arrival, abdicated 
his stone, and I could not learn where he had 
gone, but his throne remained vacant till his 
return. You have heard the notion of African 
princes among an importation of slaves, laughed 
at as an absurd fiction. This I know to be a 
fact, from the unquestionable authority of a 
frequent eye - witness, and also that it is a 
common occurrence. The natives of Congo 
elect a king among themselves, to whose de- 
crees they submit in a similar manner. 

Many of them still adhere to their pagan 
impressions, though by far the greater number 
are anxious to seem to get rid of them, and be 
baptized, because it confers on them a certain 
consideration ; and before they go to mass and 
confess, they are considered altogether as brute 
beasts. They are generally not asked, but on 
their arrival, baptized as a thing of course, as they 
are for the most part adults, and of a competent 
age. Some ecclesiastics are scrupulous, and will 
not perform the ceremony till they have pre- 
viously received such instruction, as to know 
the nature and obligation of the rite ; this was 


the case with some of the blacks of the Com- 
pany at St. Jose. The prejudiced vigario would 
not suffer them to be baptized, because they 
were not instructed, and he would not instruct 
them, it seems, because they belonged to the 

The constant salutation of a baptized negro, in 
the interior, is, " Jesu Christo ;" and the answer 
is, " por sempre — for ever." This strongly re- 
sembles the tradition of the Irish salutation 
used at the present day, as connected with 
the first introduction of Christianity, and a mark 
to distinguish the baptized from the pagan. 
Another answer is " a Deos," a contraction of 
the sentence, "Louvado seja Deos que faz santos 
— Praised be God who sanctifies us." When I 
first met groups of negroes on the road, who 
all thrust out their hands to me, I thought 
they were beggars. It was merely this mode 
of salutation, which they never omit ; whenever 
they return from work, or retire for the night, 
they all come into the family of their masters, 
and give and receive this form of salutation. 

Many of the laws, made at different times, 
were favourable to the slave. All holidays were 
allowed him, amounting to thirty-three ; so that 
the institution, highly injurious to the industry 
of the white, was a boon to the black of no 


small value, not only as an indulgence, but as 
a time he might dedicate to industry on his 
own account, and in accumulating money to 
purchase his freedom ; and by law he could 
compel his master to liberate him, by paying 
him his original cost. They make on their own 
account, in their hours of leisure, different vessels 
from calabashes and the bottle-gourd.* These 
resemble cups, jars, pitchers, and other articles, 
into which they ingeniously shape the pepo of 
the young plant, which grows here as it did 
in Italy, into whatever form it is moulded in 
the tender state, and when it ripens and hardens 
into ligneous fibres, still retains it. These they 
are allowed to sell on Sundays, when there 
is a kind of market established for such com- 
modities ; from this circumstance, as well as 
from the manner in which assisted nature her- 
self forms these utensils, they are called Louca 
de Deos, or " God's earthenware." 

If a slave has produced his master ten chil- 
dren, he may demand his freedom; but these 
and similar regulations are so constantly evaded, 
and have been so seldom enforced, that they 
are a mere dead-letter. To restrain his violence, 
a master is liable to a fine for ill using his slave, 

* Cucurbita lagenaria. 


but no part of it goes to the unfortunate suf- 
ferer. He can even be compelled to hand over 
the slave to another master, on proof of ill 
usage ; but though the most glaring outrages 
are committed every day, the law is never 
enforced, and the slave has no alternative but 
running away. 

In the " Journal do Commercio," and the 
" Diario," there are always ten or twelve 
advertisements of " escravos fugidos — runaway 
slaves." When they abscond, they generally 
betake themselves to the Corcovado, or the con- 
tiguous mountains, and here, armed with spears, 
they attack travellers, and live by plunder. The 
beautiful road leading along the aqueduct is 
infested with these fugitives, living in a state 
of nature, and many robberies have been lately 
committed there. The police is particularly em- 
ployed under an officer, called Capitao do Mato, 
or captain of the woods, hunting them down ; 
and in a dense thicket, in the chain of hills just 
behind Rio, a whole colony of these unfortunate 
beings was lately found in the greatest misery. 
When brought back, besides the punishment 
of flogging, they are distinguished by a very 
extraordinary looking mark. An iron collar is 
firmly rivetted on their necks, from which a long 
bar projects at nearly right angles, terminated at 


the other end by a cross, or by a broad curl, so 
as to resemble a fleur-de-lis. The intent of this 
is as well to stigmatize them as fugidios, or 
deserters, as also to impede them in their flight, 
as the iron bar entangled in the bushes, would 
soon cause the collar to strangle them, if they 
attempted to force their way through the under- 
wood. Sometimes the extremity of the bar is 
terminated by five fingers, and this implies that 
the slave had carried off with him some pro- 
perty, and so was a surripio, or thief, as well as 
a fugidio. The multitudes of slaves seen thus 
neck-fettered in the streets, is a proof of the 
numbers who are continually attempting to 
escape, and also a proof how intolerable is the 
state of existence in which they find themselves. 
Nothing can be more unfounded, or, indeed, 
more absurd, than to say, they are reconciled 
and happier in slavery in America, than in 
freedom in their own country. They seem to 
have as keen a sense of bondage, and to repine 
as bitterly at their lot, as any white men, in the 
same state in Africa ; indeed, if we might judge 
from the effects, still more. I have never heard 
that suicide is common among the unhappy 
Europeans, detained in slavery on the Barbary 
coast; it is the daily practice in Brazil. Besides 
the instances I have mentioned elsewhere, the 


harbour is constantly covered with the bodies 
of blacks, on whom no marks of violence are 
found, and who are known to have thrown 
themselves in, to escape from an insupportable 
life. This is particularly the case at Bota Fogo, 
where several respectable persons have told me, 
they frequently encountered black bodies when 
they went to bathe. I have seen them myself 
left by the tide on the strand, and some lying 
weltering just under our windows. 

But we were all eye-witnesses to a very 
striking and melancholy fact of this kind. One 
evening, some police men were conducting a 
woman to the calabuoco, along the road leading 
from Catete. Just when they came opposite our 
door, where there was an open descent to the 
strand, the woman suddenly rushed down the 
rocks, and cast herself into the sea. The place 
in which she fell was too shallow to drown her; 
so after lying on her face a moment, she again 
raised herself, and rushing forward into deeper 
water, she sunk, and disappeared. The police 
men made no attempt to save her; but Mr. 
Abercrombie ordered some of the blacks of our 
house to follow her. They immediately did so, 
brought her up apparently dead, and carried 
her into our hall, with her head hanging down, 
and exhibiting the supposed mortal symptom 


of froth collected on her lips. The negroes 
who humanely saved her, supposing her dead, 
threw her down on the bare stones, just as they 
would be treated themselves ; and she lay there, 
like any other worthless and despised object : 
but on examining the poor creature, we had 
reason to suppose it was still possible to restore 
suspended animation ; a bed was therefore 
brought, on which she was laid, divested of her 
wet and tattered garments, and wrapped in a 
warm blanket. Friction, and other usual means, 
were then resorted to; and after being perse- 
vered in for some time, she showed symptoms 
of returning animation. She was seized with 
convulsions, succeeded by a violent shuddering : 
then ejected a quantity of water from her 
stomach, opened her eyes, and muttered some 
incoherent words, and, at length, fell into a 
slumber, from which she awoke in a sensible 

She gave the following account of herself. 
She was a native of Minas, on the coast of 
Guinea, where she was one night seized in her 
hut, dragged on board a slaver, brought to Rio, 
and sold at the Vailongo. She was then bap- 
tized at the church of the Candellaria, by the 
name of Francisca, and brought by her master, 
a Captain Philipe, to his chacara, near Bota 


Fogo. She was employed in washing, which 
she willingly performed ; but her master treated 
her with the greatest cruelty and inhumanity, 
and in proof, she showed her arms and side, 
which were greatly swelled and inflamed, from 
the effects of blows she had received a few days 
before. She could endure it no longer, and she 
fled to the woods. Her master immediately 
gave sixteen milreis to the capitao do mato ; she 
was pursued and overtaken, and was on her way 
back to her former state ; but she conceived such 
a horror at again returning, to encounter the 
brutality she had before experienced, that she 
determined not to be brought home alive ; so 
in passing along the shore, where there is an 
opening to the sea among the rocks, just oppo- 
site our house, she rushed down, and hoped 
she had effected her purpose. 

She appeared very grateful for the kindness 
with which she was treated, so different from 
any thing she had ever experienced in Brazil 
before, and proposed to do any work with 
alacrity to which she was put; but when we 
spoke of her returning to her master, she ex- 
pressed a degree of horror, both in her looks 
and manners, that amounted to distraction, and 
seemed to think she was but little indebted to 
those who saved her life, if she was again to 


be given up to that suffering, than which loss 
of life was more tolerable. 

The next day I went to Bota Fogo, to learn 
something of her master, and to interest some 
friends in her behalf, who, I knew, were very- 
kind and humane. But a slave, I found, was 
no legitimate object of compassion ; and they, 
whose deepest sympathies would have been 
roused for a white European so circumstanced, 
had not the smallest for a black African. In 
reply to my statements, I was assailed with 
stories of the wickedness and worthlessness of 
the race in particular to which she belonged. 
I inquired if they were addicted to theft, or 
other immoralities ; it was admitted that they 
were not, but they were notorious for a practice 
equally dishonest, that of cheating their masters, 
who had paid their money for them, by daring 
to kill themselves when life was no longer 
tolerable. I further learned, that her master 
could come and claim her, as he would his 
horse or his mule ; that she could be sent to 
the calabouco, to be first punished for her dis- 
honest attempt on her own life, and then re- 
stored to him, to be dealt with as he pleased. 

In effect, in a day or two her master did 
come and claim her, and his claim could be 
no more resisted, than if he had demanded any 


other article of his property. Her arm and side 
were still greatly inflamed, but she had no alter- 
native, and was obliged to go away with a stern 
fellow sent for her. All that could be done, 
was done by his Excellency, Lord Strangford. 
When a slave flies and returns, or is brought 
back, he endeavours to procure the interference 
of some one, who becomes his padrinho, or 
sponsor, and intercedes for his forgiveness. If 
the person consents, he is always sure the fugitive 
will be forgiven, for it is considered a high 
offence to refuse. This kind office Lord Strang- 
ford undertook, and secured the poor creature 
from present punishment, but could be no pro- 
tection against future cruelty, which, no doubt, 
will end in determined suicide. 

This horror at slavery is carried to such an 
extent, that they not only kill themselves, but 
their children, to escape it. Negresses are 
known to be remarkably fond mothers, and all 
I have seen confirms the observation of others ; 
yet this very affection often impels them to 
commit infanticide. Many of them, particularly 
the Minas slaves, have the strongest repug- 
nance to have children, and practise means to 
extinguish life before the infant is born, and 
provide, as they say, against the affliction of 
bringing slaves into the world. Is it not a 


frightful state which thus counteracts the first 
impressions of nature, eradicates the maternal 
feelings from the human breast, and causes the 
mother to become the murderer of her unborn 
offspring ? 

The yearning after liberty is the strongest 
feeling of a negro's mind. It is usual with 
people, at their deaths, to emancipate their 
slaves, particularly ecclesiastics, as if to make 
an atonement for having kept them in that 
state, as long as they could hold them in their 
grasp. Slaves, who have expected this, and 
have had their hopes frustrated, sink rapidly 
under the effects of a bitter disappointment, and 
die of broken hearts. An incident of this kind 
occurred at S. Jose, a few days before my 
arrival. An ecclesiastic in the Minas Geraes 
died, and all his slaves were emancipated by 
his will. It is requisite, however, to pay a 
certain duty on such manumission, and as no 
provision had been made in the will for this, 
it was necessary to sell one or two of the slaves 
to pay for the rest. One of them was brought 
to S. Jose, where he sunk rapidly under the 
feelings of disappointed hope. He refused to 
take any sustenance, and it was necessary to 
have his mouth held forcibly open by other 
blacks, while it was poured down his throat ; 


but he persisted in his determination to eman- 
cipate himself, as he said, and in a short time 
he succeeded. He was buried, as well as I 
remember, the dav before we arrived. 

But this irrepressible horror at a state of 
slavery is the parent sometimes of the greatest 
crimes ; and when negroes expect a testamen- 
tary freedom, they anticipate the time by the 
premature death of the testator ; and thus, 
a humane and benevolent intention, is often 
the cause of the death of the intended bene- 
factor, and becomes a frequent incentive to 
poison and assassination. I knew a man in 
the Organ mountains, who displayed a most 
frightful picture of the effects of slavery in the 
different relations of life. The man's name was 
Felice, a gamelleiro, or one who undertakes to 
cut down woods, to convert the timber into 
gamellas, and sell them through the country. 
He was a mulatto, the son of a white man by 
a negro slave. You will suppose that his bon- 
dage ceased at his birth, and that the offspring 
of a white man could not be the bondsman of his 
parent. No such thing; he was liable to the 
condition of his mother, and the father kept his 
own son a slave, to sell him, or dispose of him, 
as he would his mule. Being ill, however, and 
near to die, he made his will, left his child 


his freedom, and apprised him of it. After some 
time, he recovered, and having some dispute 
with his son, he threatened that he would alter 
his will, and that he should be sold with the 
rest of his stock. This his boy determined to 
prevent, assassinated his father in a wood, got 
possession of the will, demanded his freedom, 
and obtained it. This circumstance was per- 
fectly well known to every body in the neigh- 
bourhood, but no process was instituted against 
him ; and I saw him every day driving his 
mules, loaded with gamellas, and not charge- 
able, as I could hear, with any other delin- 
quency, except the horrible one of having 
murdered his father to obtain his freedom. 

The circumstance that particularly struck me 
in Brazil, was the interminable period to which 
the offspring of a slave is doomed to bondage, 
from generation to generation. It is a taint 
in the blood, which no length of time, no charge 
of relationship, no alteration of colour, can obli- 
terate. Hence it is that you see people of all 
hues in a state of bondage, from jet black to 
pure white. On the ecclesiastical estates, every 
precaution is taken to preserve the original 
colour ; and when, from an intermixture of 
white blood, the complexion of the children is 
becoming too light, they endeavour to restore 


its darkness, by obliging the fair slaves to inter- 
marry with those who are blacker than them- 
selves ; the good fathers being alarmed at the 
prospect of keeping, in a state of slavery, human 
faces as fair as their own. 

I one day stopped, with a friend, at the house 
of a man on the road to Tijuca, to obtain some 
refreshment. In the garden, at the back of his 
venda, we saw some young negroes playing about, 
and among the rest, a very pretty white boy. 
He had a soft fair face, light curling hair, blue 
eyes, and a skin as light as that of a European. 
Attracted by the very engaging little fellow, I 
caressed him, and inquired of the man of the 
house, if he was his son. He said not ; but that 
he was the son of an Englishman, and his 
slave, and he mentioned the name of his father. 
Shocked and incredulous, I denied the possibility 
of his father's knowing that the child was in bon- 
dage ; but I was then informed, that the father not 
only knew it in this instance, but that, in other 
cases, he is known to sell his own white child along 
with its mother ! Oh, my friend ; here is a picture 
of slavery ! Here is the story of Mr. Thomas 
Inkle actually revived, and an European, in the 
nineteenth century, selling a mother, with whom 
he had lived as with a wife, and enhancing her 
value, by selling his own son along with her. 



If then we put out of the question the injury 
inflicted on others, and merely consider the 
deterioration of feeling and principle with which 
it operates on ourselves, ought it not to be a 
sufficient, and, indeed, unanswerable argument, 
against the permission of slavery ? 

The exemplary manner in which the paternal 
duties are performed at home, may mark people 
as the most fond and affectionate of parents ; 
but let them once go abroad, and come within 
the contagion of slavery, and it seems to alter 
the very nature of the man ; and the father 
has sold, and still sells, the mother and his 
children, with as little compunction as he would 
a sow and her litter of pigs ; and he often dis- 
poses of them together. 

This deterioration of feeling is conspicuous 
in many ways among the Brazilians. They are 
naturally a people of a humane and good- 
natured disposition, and much indisposed to 
cruelty or severity of any kind. Indeed, the 
manner in which many of them treat their 
slaves is a proof of this, as it is really gentle 
and considerate ; but the natural tendency to 
cruelty and oppression in the human heart, is 
continually evolved by the impunity and un- 
controlled licence in which they are exercised. 
I never walked through the streets of Rio, that 


some house did not present to me the sem- 
blance of a bridewell, where the moans and cries 
of the sufferers, and the sound of whips and 
scourges within, announced to me that corporal 
punishment was being inflicted. Whenever I 
remarked this to a friend, I was always answered 
that the refractory nature of the slave rendered 
it necessary, and no house could be properly 
conducted unless it was practised. But this is 
certainly not the case ; and the chastisement 
is constantly applied in the very wantonness of 
barbarity, and would not, and dared not, be 
inflicted on the humblest wretch in society, if 
he was not a slave, and so put out of the pale 
of pity. 

Immediately joining our house was one oc- 
cupied by a mechanic, from which the most 
dismal cries and moans constantly proceeded. 
I entered the shop one day, and found it was 
occupied by a saddler, who had two negro boys 
working at his business. He was a tawny ca- 
daverous-looking man, with a dark aspect ; and 
he had cut from his leather a scourge like a 
Russian knout, which he held in his hand, and 
was in the act of exercising on one of the naked 
children in an inner room ; and this was the 
cause of the moans and cries we heard every 
day, and almost all day long. 

a a 2 


In the rear of our house was another, occu- 
pied by some women of bad character, who 
kept, as usual, several negro slaves. I was 
awoke early one morning by dismal cries, and 
looking out of the window, I saw in the back 
yard of the house, a black girl of about fourteen 
years old ; before her stood her mistress, a white 
woman, with a large stick in her hand. She 
was undressed, except her petticoat and che- 
mise, which had fallen down and left her shoul- 
ders and bosom bare. Her hair was streaming 
behind, and every fierce and malevolent passion 
was depicted in her face. She too, like my 
hostess at Governo, was the very representation 
of a fury. She was striking the poor girl, whom 
she had driven up into a corner, where she was 
on her knees appealing for mercy. She showed 
her none, but continued to strike her on the 
head and thrust the stick into her face, till she 
was herself exhausted, and her poor victim 
covered with blood. This scene was renewed 
every morning, and the cries and moans of the 
poor suffering blacks, announced that they were 
enduring the penalty of slavery, in being the 
objects on which the irritable and malevolent 
passions of the whites, are allowed to vent them- 
selves with impunity ; nor could I help deeply 
deploring that state of society in which the 


vilest characters in the community, are allowed 
an almost uncontrolled power of life and death, 
over their innocent, and far more estimable 

You will allege, perhaps, that chastisement in 
this way may be often quite necessary, though it 
be sometimes abused, and carried to an excess ; 
but what will you say when I tell you, that they 
frequently perish under this infliction of evil 
passion, and negroes every day are sacrificed, 
not so much as delinquents punished for of- 
fences, as victims offered up to the revenge or 
malice of their masters. A Portuguese mer- 
chant was pointed out to me at the Alfandega, 
as a remarkable example of this. He had ill- 
used a black so as greatly to exasperate him ; 
and as he was not his master, the slave was not in 
the same personal awe of him, and he struck him 
in the face in a sudden fit of passion. The 
merchant said little about it at the time, but 
the inexpiable insult of receiving a blow from a 
negro slave rankled in his heart. He sometime 
after applied to his master to sell him, but as he 
was a good negro, for whom he felt a regard, he 
declined, till he was offered a considerable sum, 
which he thought it not prudent to refuse. The 
money was immediately paid, and the slave 
transferred ; but the moment his new master 


obtained possession of him, he sent him to the 
calaboueo, or place where slaves are punished, 
Here he obtained an order, as is usual, from 
the intendant of the police, for three or four 
hundred lashes, or as many as he might think 
necessary ; and he had him flogged every day 
with such severity, that he gradually sunk under 
the punishment, and the merchant never thought 
his affront expiated, till he saw his dead body 
sent in a mat to the burying ground of the 

Sometimes the gratification of these passions 
is too sweet to be intrusted to other hands, 
so they take it into their own, and of this 
several stories were told me ; I shall mention 
one: — A family was about to remove to the 
country, and the master ordered one of his 
slaves to prepare the carriage. The slave, as 
often happens, had some attachment which he 
did not wish to leave, and neglected the 
orders ; and when they were repeated in a 
more peremptory manner, he took an axe, and 
in a sudden fit of frenzy or despair, attempted 
to cut his master down. He was seized 
and disarmed, but he was not sent to the 
calaboueo, where it was said his punishment 
would not be sufficiently severe ; so he was 
tied up in a cellar in the house, where his 


master every day inflicted the chastisement 
with his own hands, and never took him down 
till he was dead. This was universally known, 
and mentioned to me as rather a more salutary 
and effectual way of domestic punishment, than 
sending to the calabouco. The master suffered 
nothing in public estimation, and was never 
called to any account for the murder. 

The wretched slave often anticipates the 
result by inflicting death upon himself in an 
extraordinary manner. They have a method 
of burying their tongue in their throat, in such 
a way as to produce suffocation. A friend of 
mine was passing through the carioca, when a 
slave was tied up and flogged. After a few 
lashes, he hung his head apparently lifeless, 
and when taken down, he was actually dead, 
and his tongue found wedged in the oesophagus, 
so as completely to close the trachea. 

While this tremendous power is permitted 
to the master, the laws of the country are fre- 
quently a dead letter, with respect to the slaves, 
who violate them, and commit real crimes with 
impunity; they rob, and poison, and assassi- 
nate, without any possibility of bringing them 
to condign punishment, when it is not the 
masters' interest or pleasure to do so. Men, noto- 
riously guilty of these crimes, are too valuable 


a property to be offered up to public justice, 
which would allow the master no compensation 
for the loss ; they are, therefore, protected, or 
at the utmost sold to another, if he does not 
wish to keep them any longer himself. At 
S. Jose, as I stated to you, I knew a gentleman 
who had lost his family, and narrowly escaped 
himself,' from poison administered by a slave, 
and he only sold her to another. At Bota 
Fogo, a notorious murder was committed, and 
the perpetrators are still at large. Some time 
before our arrival, races were established on the 
strand ; and the sailor of an English ship, who 
resided at Praya Grande, on the other side of 
the bay, hired a boat, with four negroes, brought 
over provisions, and pitched a tent on the strand, 
where he sold his refreshments to some profit. 
When he was returning in the evening, the 
negroes conceived the idea of robbing him, and 
seizing the money he had made. One of them, 
who was steering, purposely turned the boat 
out of her course, and when the sailor attempted 
to rectify the fault, he struck him on the head 
with the tiller, knocked him senseless, and 
threw him overboard. They then threw the 
furniture over likewise, and proposed to return 
to their master with the boat empty, and say 
the sailor had remained behind with his tent. 


The man's wife was also on board ; so, to prevent 
her from making a discovery, they threw her 
over after the furniture. She clung to some 
article, floated, and was providentially taken 
up by a passing boat. 

When she reported the circumstance, pro- 
ceedings were immediately commenced against 
the murderers, by Colonel Cunningham, on 
behalf of the widow, and they were appre- 
hended. After the suit was protracted for 
a year, by various delays, he was at length 
called on to produce the body of the sailor, 
as indispensable evidence that he had been 
murdered at all. This could not be done ; the 
process was stopped, and the negroes liberated. 
It was well known that the proprietor of one 
of them, a stout athletic man, and so a valuable 
slave, had applied to the juiz, before whom 
cognizance of the fact was taken, gave him 
500 milreis to protract, and finally put an end 
to the process. The master was considered as 
only protecting his property. 

In fact, a very considerable part of the wealth 
of Rio is vested in this property, and slaves form 
the income and support of a vast number of 
individuals, who hire them out, as people in 
Europe do horses and mules. This is one great 
cause, that prevents the adoption of machinery 


in abridging manual labour, as so many persons 
have an interest in its being performed by the 
slaves alone. This is particularly the case in 
the custom-house. A crane was imported from 
England, capable of enabling two negroes to 
move and manage weights which now require 
twenty ; but this was violently opposed and 
effectually resisted, as every person in the 
establishment possessed a number of negroes, 
even down to the lowest clerks, who had five or 
six each, for whose labour they were paid. " It 
would excite laughter, if it was not for the 
sorrow which it occasions," said Bonafacio 
Andrada, " to see twenty slaves in Brazil em- 
ployed in carrying to market twenty bags of 
sugar, which might be conveyed thither on one 
well-constructed cart drawn by two oxen or a 
pair of mules." 

There has been such a rage for acquiring this 
sort of property, that negroes themselves who 
had obtained their freedom, frequently sent 
ventures to Africa to purchase their countrymen, 
who were brought back to them in exchange for 
the beads and looking-glasses which they sent 
out. It is a frightful thing, that those poor 
creatures have been so instructed by the ex- 
ample of their masters, and their conversion to 
Christianity has only taught them to reduce their 


kindred to that state, to which they themselves 
felt such a horror. 

Every intelligent person in the country seems 
convinced, that a state of slavery is highly in- 
jurious to its best interests. The abolition of 
the slave trade abroad, and the gradual extinc- 
tion of a state of slavery at home, had begun to 
engage the attention of the first constituent 
assembly, when it was suddenly dissolved ; but 
the spirit and feeling that suggested the con- 
sideration, still exists in the country, notwith- 
standing the powerful personal interests opposed 
to it. The preponderance of the black popula- 
tion is a subject of deep alarm, and the danger 
of its increase has reconciled many people to 
the speedy abolition of the foreign trade ; 
while the numerous obstacles presented to the 
industry and prosperity of the country by the 
employment of slaves at home, have convinced 
many of them, that its evils far exceed its be- 
nefits. As long as labour, they say, is per- 
formed by the hands of slaves, no white man 
who can buy them will exert himself, and indo- 
lence and inactivity will ever be, as it is now, 
the characteristic of the Brazilian. As long as a 
man's property is vested in slaves, which he 
must have employed by others in order to live 
himself, no machinery to abridge manual labour 


will ever be admitted or encouraged in the 
country, and the people will continue to use the 
few miserable and crazy expedients which their 
ancestors used two centuries ago. As long as 
two-thirds of the community are regarded as 
mere chattels, the interests of the proprietor will 
ever be considered paramount to public justice ; 
and crimes will be committed with impunity by 
those who are not looked upon in the light of 
moral agents, because their punishment would 
be a loss of property to their owners. As long as 
men live as they do with their female slaves, the 
sacred bonds of parental and filial duty will be 
disregarded ; fathers will sell their own children 
as their slaves, and children will* destroy their 
own parents, as slaves who endeavour to escape 
from bondage. As long as the unfortunate 
beings are objects to which the laws afford an 
inefficient protection, but are subject to the un- 
controlled caprice and tyranny of their masters, 
it will be a continued incentive to every bad 
passion of the heart to indulge itself with 
impunity. These, and a thousand similar re- 
flections, independent of political and natural 
rights, continually suggest themselves to the 
Brazilians, and incline them to consider seriously 
the evils of slavery in their country. 

It is true that a strong opposition was made, 


and still is making, against even the abolition 
of the foreign trade. Vasconcellos, the most 
popular man in the country, has declaimed, and 
the provincial council of the Minas Geraes have 
petitioned, against it ; and the people at Rio 
believe, and I heard it more than once said, 
that Mr. Wilberforce had received 5000/., and 
other members of the House of Commons in the 
same proportion, to withdraw their opposition 
to the extension of the period. This however is 
but a partial and temporary feeling, which will 
soon die when it is found to be ineffectual. 

The number of free blacks and mulattos is 
very considerable already in the country. It is 
calculated of the former, that there are 160,000 ; 
and of the latter 430,000, making about 600,000 
free men, who were either slaves themselves, or 
the descendants of slaves. These are, gene- 
rally speaking, well-conducted and industrious 
persons ; and compose indiscriminately different 
orders of the community. There are among 
them merchants, farmers, doctors, lawyers, 
priests, and officers of different ranks. Every 
considerable town in the interior has regiments 
composed of them ; and I saw at Villa Rica 
two corps of them, one consisting of four com- 
panies of free blacks, and the other of seven 
companies of mulattos. The benefits arising 


from these, have greatly disposed the whites to 
consider the propriety and necessity of gradually 
amalgamating the rest with the free population 
of the country, and abolishing for ever that 
outrage upon the laws of God and man, the 
condition of a slave. 

Next to the prohibition of the importation of 
black slaves, the great and obvious policy of the 
government would be, the encouragement of 
white freemen of every European nation. The 
failure of the late experiment with the Irish and 
Germans is greatly to be regretted ; but it has 
partially succeeded ; and two German, with a 
Swiss and an Irish colony, have been located in 
different parts of the country. 

In the year 1818, Baron Busch, with Messrs. 
Peycke and Freyreiss, established a community of 
Germans on the river Peruhype, in the province 
of Porto Seguro, each of them having received a 
square league of ground from government, and 
they called the colony Leopoldina, in honour of 
their amiable countrywoman. In 1826, it con- 
tained 600 persons and fifteen coffee planta- 
tions. They built a small schooner to convey 
their produce; and, in 1827, they despatched her 
from Villa Caravelhas, their nearest sea -port, 
to Rio, with their first cargo of coffee. Some 
unreclaimed Indians are still in the neigh- 


bourhood, who in April, 1828, killed a few of 
the people. 

Another German colony of S. Leopoldo was 
established by the government, in the district of 
S. Pedro do Rio Grande, in a very healthy and 
temperate country ; each colonist obtained two 
oxen and a horse. Wheat, rye, and all Euro- 
pean vegetables thrive as in the natural soil, 
and their plantations are very flourishing : in 
1828, the population amounted to 6000 per- 

In 1819, a colony of Swiss was established 
at Canto Gallo, at the Morro Quemado, behind 
the Serra dos Orgaos. It was intended to build 
on the spot a new town, called Novo Friburgo ; 
but the ground on experiment proved exceed- 
ingly sterile, and altogether unfit for cultivation, 
so much so, that neither foreign nor native 
produce could be made to succeed. It was 
said the land was the property of the inspector- 
general of the colony, and that he disposed of 
his barren district to government for this pur- 
pose, at an enormous price. The establishment, 
in consequence, is fast declining, and many of 
the colonists are found in all parts of the Minas 

After the unfortunate affair at Rio, in 1828, 
the emperor sent 220 Irish, as a colony, to 


Bahia, as I stated before, where they were 
located at Taporoa, in the comarca of Ilheos ; 
here they form a thriving community, and 
their affairs are directed by a commission of 
competent persons. The governor of Bahia 
strongly recommended them to the care of the 

There is now an opportunity of augmenting 
those European colonies by a most valuable 
acquisition. The Portuguese constitutionalists 
are, generally speaking, the most intelligent and 
enlightened men of the community to which 
they belonged; and the principles they avow, 
and which they have sacrificed every thing to 
support in Europe, are guarantees of their at- 
tachment to the new constitutional order of 
things established in Brazil. Instead, there- 
fore, of fostering an unreasonable prejudice 
against the introduction of such men into the 
country, let them be all invited, not as soldiers 
with arms in their hands to form a suspicious 
army of strangers, but as peaceable citizens and 
agriculturists, to amalgamate with the free com- 
munity of the country. They merit every pro- 
tection and encouragement which it is possible 
for the government of Brazil to afford them ; 
and there is no one who contemplates these 
gallant men with blighted prospects and almost 


extinct hopes, suffering the extremes of priva- 
tion in a foreign land, who does not sincerely 
wish to see them located, and cherished in a 
kindred country, where their presence would 
be an important accession to a young nation; — 
not less for their intelligent minds, than for 
their independent spirit. 

On my return to Rio, I was concerned to find 
Lord Strangford very unwell, and he purposed 
to leave the heats of the low city for the cooler 
and more salubrious air of the hills. In the 
beginning of February, we proceeded to the 
fazenda of Messrs. March and Watson, situated 
in the rear of the Organ mountains, about fifty 
miles distant. We embarked in a country boat, 
and taking advantage of the sea-breeze, landed 
in the evening at Piedade, at the north end of 
the bay. The first object presented to me was 
the very elaborate process of making lime, so 
very scarce, yet so very necessary to the country. 
All the shells were carefully gathered on the 
shore ; they were then piled up in layers, and 
a thick stratum of wood interposed between 
each, and in this way they were calcined. The 
quantity of wood was very great, compared with 
the few shells, and the consumption of it for 
such a purpose must be enormous. 

About four years ago, a quarry of lime-stone 



was discovered in the neighbourhood of Rio, by 
a German miner, who came out to search for 
gold, but found what was really a greater trea- 
sure. He brought specimens, and made pro- 
posals to quarry it. He was likely to succeed; 
but a Portuguese, through whose ground it was 
necessary to convey it, for water carriage, re- 
fused to give a right of passage, unless he was 
allowed one half of the profits. The German 
would not accede to this unreasonable demand, 
and after some fruitless negotiations, he left the 
country in disgust ; but as he had carefully con- 
cealed the place of discovery, he carried his 
secret along with him. Specimens of this pre- 
cious fossil are in the hands of some people in 
Rio, who have no doubt of the reality of the 
discovery, but they have not yet been able to 
find out the place. 

From Piedade we proceeded to Mage, where 
we slept. This is a considerable town, built 
about fifty years ago, on the left bank of a river 
of the same name, over which is a large wooden 
bridge. We heard the sound of bugles and 
military music as we entered the town, as if to 
welcome our approach : it proceeded from the 
militia of the place, who were just returning 
from parade. It stands in a flat alluvial country, 
which extends from the bay to the base of the 


Organ mountains, and is constantly inundated 
by the streams which intersect it in all direc- 
tions ; it is, therefore, the most, and almost the 
only, unhealthy spot in the country, and subject 
to intermittent fevers, which prevailed here to 
an alarming extent before we left Rio. 

Next day we arrived at Freixal to breakfast, 
where we could get neither coffee nor milk, 
though the rancho was surrounded with cows 
and coffee plantations ; but our host had more 
than the indifference of a Brazilian landlord, 
and seemed to care little in what manner he 
accommodated us. A short way from hence, 
we began to ascend the serra of Coitoo. The 
weather was intensely hot below ; but before 
we had climbed up half way, the rain set in, 
and when we gained the summit, the transition 
from heat to cold was almost intolerable. We 
passed between two very high peaks, which 
formed a vast avenue to a table land, which 
ran horizontally before us, confined by two 
parallel ridges, rising as barriers at each 
side. Through this the cold wind and rain 
came sweeping along, and perhaps no one ever 
experienced a greater and more sudden change 
of sensation than we did from the extremes of 
temperature. It was so intolerable, that when 
we arrived at Mr. March's house, we were 

b b 2 


obliged to go to bed and wrap ourselves in 
warm blankets. The thermometer stood below 
at 91° in the shade, above it fell to 60°. 

The fazenda is called Santa Anna de Pacacu ; 
it extends for sixteen miles in length and five 
or six in breadth, bounded by the summit ridges 
of parallel serras. These are nature's walls, which 
form the divisions of property in Brazil. The 
contiguous farms are separated by the agoa 
vertente, that is, the line along the ridge, where 
the waters begin to turn from each other, and 
the streams to descend at each side. Nothing 
can more strongly mark the extent of the 
country, and the comparatively scanty popula- 
tion, than that such immense and indefinite 
boundaries still mark the limits of farms in the 
vicinity of the capital. 

The fazenda was generally pasture land from 
which the wood had been cleared, and its place 
supplied with a rich matting of grass, whose 
broad succulent leaf covered the whole surface 
of the soil with a soft verdant carpet, green all 
the year, and affording the greatest abundance 
of nutritious herbage, on which were grazing 
one hundred and fifty horses and mules, about 
one hundred head of black cattle, and the same 
number of sheep and pigs ; and to take care of 
these, one hundred negroes were located in 


different parts. The villages they form, are 
called senzallas. 

We visited one of them, about eight miles 
from the house ; the whole way was exceedingly 
romantic and beautiful, the verdant sward 
frequently intersected with broad pure streams 
of limped water, and alternated sometimes with 
low copse, and sometimes with lofty woods. 
We first arrived at the vargem, or horse-pasture. 
This was several hundred acres of rich sward, 
with a corree, or enclosure, in the centre, filled 
with mares and foals ; before it rose the peaks 
of the Organ mountains with singular majesty 
and beauty, the most conspicuous of which was 
the Cabeco de Frade, or the priest's head. 

From this vargem several foals had been taken 
and destroyed by wild beasts, which still haunt in 
great abundance, the woods of these mountains. 
There are therefore persons who are professed 
hunters, and undertake to destroy them. One 
of these lives in the town of Mage, in the plain 
below. When any serious loss has been sus- 
tained, he is sent for. He comes up the moun- 
tains with his attendants, and never fails to 
track and kill the ferocious animal. A short 
time before, a tiger had destroyed several colts. 
It is usual on such occasions to watch for the 
beast of prey, and shoot him when he comes 


back to consume the remnant of the carcass ; but 
this animal was grown so cunning, that after 
killing and half-devouring his prey, he never 
returned to finish it. He was therefore pursued 
by the Mage hunter for six days, and at length 
he took refuge in a tree, where he was shot. 
His skin was full of scars and perforations of 
former wounds. 

Beyond the vargem was a roca, or an exten- 
sive plantation of milho, which also bore testi- 
mony to the existence of wild animals in the 
farm. Beside the plantation ran a broad stream, 
which abounded with tapirs. One of those had 
the night before come out of the water, and 
trampled down and destroyed the milho to a 
considerable extent. Our attendants had brought 
long guns in the hope of meeting the depredator, 
but, though we watched for some time, we 
could not get a sight of him. 

At the extremity of this plantation was a 
senzalla. It exactly resembled a Hottentot's 
kraal. It consisted of forty or fifty huts, form- 
ing a circle, and including an area, where the 
occupants winnowed their corn, milked their 
cattle, and performed other usual works ; the huts 
were rudely constructed of poles, thatched with 
palm leaves, so low that a man could only stand 
upright in the middle. A partition of wicker- 


work divided each hut into two apartments ; on 
one side was just room for a bed,, on a platform 
of hurdles ; on the other, a fire, which a negro 
keeps always burning in his hut in the hottest 
weather ; the entrance was closed by a wicker 

On another day, I accompanied Mr. Watson 
to see the manner of clearing woods for planta- 
tions of milho, or other produce. The woods 
of these mountains are still in their primitive 
state, gigantic and dense, and the only mode 
hitherto tried is fire. We passed through a 
wild glen, which opened into a beautiful vale, 
with gentle slopes up the sides of the hills that 
surrounded it; we suddenly came on it, and 
on emerging from a dark avenue of trees, we 
saw the whole extent of the vale, glowing red, 
like a vast furnace, of two or three miles in cir- 
cumference. The indistinct crackling and roaring 
of the fire, was constantly interrupted by loud 
explosions, and discharges of smoke, which I 
thought proceeded from blasting rocks or trees 
with gunpowder, but it arose from a different 
cause. The woods abounded with bamboos of 
an immense size, called tacwara. As the fire 
seized these enormous tubes, the heated air 
within expanded, and every joint in succession 
burst open, with a noise as loud as the discharge 


of a musket. The progress of the flame is 
followed by negroes, with hoes in their hands, 
who strike the ashes, when sufficiently cool, into 
the soil, and immediately drop the grain ; and 
so rapid is vegetation when quickened by this 
process, that young blades of green corn are 
seen shooting up among the black and smoking 
stumps in one place, while the fire is raging 
in another. 

The negroes on Sundays were permitted to 
amuse themselves after their own fashion ; they 
sometimes employed it in entering the thick 
woods, and laying snares for different animals. 
From their dexterity our table was supplied 
with different kinds of game, among the rest 
the agouti, an animal resembling a hare, with 
very coarse fur, and the jacatengo, a large moor- 
fowl, called the Brazilian grouse. 

We one day killed a jacaraca serpent, said 
to be, next to the urutu and cobra coral, the 
most venomous reptile in the country. It was 
six feet long, and eight inches in circumference ; 
its scales were of a dingy green on the back, but 
grey and lucid on the belly. I had the curiosity 
to dissect it ; it was a viper, that is viviparous, 
having twenty-four young ones, perfectly formed 
and nine inches long, in its uterus. The stomach 
contained nothing but a few leaves of plants and 


blades of grass, and no insect of any kind ; the 
heart was very small, and had no communication 
with the lungs ; the aorta and vena cava were 
connected together by the shortest course, like 
those of the lizard tribe ; so I presume the 
animal is amphibious, capable of remaining long 
under water — and torpid, capable of enduring 
long sleep. The mechanism of the back-bone 
was very curious ; it consisted of 170 exquisitely 
formed articulations, movable in every direction 
like a ball and socket, without any projecting 
processes to impede their flexibility. The head 
was flat, and its cavity was very small ; so that, 
certainly, the supposed wisdom of a serpent 
does not depend on the quantity of brains. 

But the mouth was a subject of particular 
interest. It had four hooked fangs in the upper 
jaw attached to a bone. They were at first 
invisible, and covered with a sheathing like 
cats' claws ; but by pressing on the bone to 
which the whole was united, they were ele- 
vated and protruded from the sheath to the 
length of an inch and a half ; two of them were 
grooved and perforated, and at the base were 
blue follicles, which seemed to contain the 
poison. In the act of biting, when the teeth 
entered the flesh, the lips of the aperture 
pressing on the follicles, forced the poison 


through the groove, and so it was deposited 
in the bottom of the wound. The cure most 
in repute against the bite of this formidable 
viper, is a certain bean * found in the woods. 
This the natives frequently carry in their pockets, 
to have ready if they should unhappily meet 
with occasion to use it. 

The boa constrictor was once an inhabitant 
of these woods, but he has now retired far from 
the haunts of men, into the remoter forests of 
the Mato Grosso. His skin, however, is fre- 
quently used ; it is tanned, and forms a hide 
nearly as thick as that of an ox. I have often 
seen boots and saddles made of its leather. 
Notwithstanding the quantity of serpents which 
still exists in the country, and the venomous 
quality of some of them, it is very rare to meet 
with a person who has suffered from their bite. 
I scarcely passed a day, at any distance from 
Rio, without meeting with one crossing, or by 
the side of the road, and the negroes enter the 
places where they are known to abound, with 
bare feet; yet I never could hear of one who 
had suffered from their poison. 

After passing some time with our hospitable 
hosts in this elevated region, we again descended 

• Fa villa cordifolia 


to Rio, happy to find his Excellency much im- 
proved in health. 

The approach of the season of Lent is indi- 
cated by natural appearances. The wooded 
hills about Rio are covered with a beautiful 
flowering shrub, in such profusion, as to give 
them a bright and vivid purple hue. It is for 
that reason called, Flor de Quaresma,* or the 
flower of Lent. An appearance equally striking 
presented itself in the streets, which were glow- 
ing with green and yellow hues, as vivid and 
general as the purple on the hills. This pro- 
ceeded from vast quantities of balls of coloured 
wax, which filled the shops, and large baskets 
before the doors, of the shape and size of eggs, 
containing pure or scented water. In the Greek 
church, about this season of the year, they sell 
real eggs, coloured red, called paschal gifts, which 
the people say, are intended to represent the 
stains of Christ's blood, and they give them as 
presents to their friends to eat. I could not, 
however, conceive what the green and yellow 
eggs were intended for, till I learned by expe- 
rience in a few days. 

The Brazilians, like all people of a tropical 
climate and constitution, when the moment of 

* Melastoma purpurea. 


enjoyment comes, deliver themselves up to it 
with unrestrained hilarity. This is indulged 
particularly during the intruso, or jubilee, which 
precedes Lent, and the eggs were the principal 
pastime. The sport begins on Quinquagesima 
Sunday, and continues till Ash Wednesday. A 
friend brought me to pay a visit, and the first 
salutation we received, was a shower of green 
and yellow eggs pelted in our faces, by all the 
fair females of the family. We were then in- 
vited to the balconies of the windows, and saw 
all those in the street filled with girls, peeping 
out and watching the approach of some victim. 
When any appeared, he was assailed in all 
directions, and ran off bedewed with water, 
and his hat and coat covered with green and 
yellow egg-shells. If he stopped for a moment, 
when he saw nobody, and took off his hat to 
remove the wet, some laughing girl, perdue 
in an upper window, was ready with a basin 
of water, which came down on him in a sheet ; 
if he ran to the opposite side to avoid it, he 
received another ; and if he took the middle 
of the narrow street, he probably received both 

Below in the shops, and behind hall doors, 
crowds of men stood with large syringes, and ga- 
mellas, containing several gallons of water, which 


they ejected in a continued current in his face 
and bosom, so that by the time he arrived at the 
end of the street, he was as completely drenched, 
as if he was dragged through the bay. Should he, 
like Swift's passenger, first " fly, invoke the gods, 
then turning, stop " to scold, he was saluted by 
clapping of hands and shouts of laughter, from 
a thousand merry faces in all the windows round 
him. The Brazilian girls are naturally pensive- 
looking and retiring ; but at this season they 
change their character, and their gravity and 
timidity are for three days, lost in inextinguish- 
able merriment. 

Sometimes we saw persons thrown down, and 
drenched with water, and pelted with eggs, 
almost to suffocation. Sometimes farinha was 
added, and whole baskets of flour discharged 
on his wet body, till he became all crusted 
over. This is particularly the case with blacks 
and mulattos, who look exceedingly grotesque 
when ornamented in this way. The theatre 
is always open at this season, where the sport 
is also carried on, particularly from the boxes 
into the pit. 

To such an extent was this system of inun- 
dation carried, that one of the journals seriously 
complained, that the fountains of water would 
be exhausted, and the inhabitants, by their 


profuse waste on this occasion, would be left 
without this necessary article of life, a circum- 
stance which the dryness of the weather just 
before had rendered not improbable. Strangers, 
who are now so numerous in Rio, and who seem 
to be principal objects of attack, do not always 
relish it ; so that the intendant of the police 
published an edital, declaring, that as the sport 
during the intruso had been productive of wounds 
and blows, and was often exercised against the 
will and wishes of the parties, it was strictly 
prohibited in the streets and at the theatre, 
as a thing not to be permitted in a " civilized 
society." Guards, therefore, were placed in all 
parts of the town ; but the " sociedade civi- 
lizada" of Rio paid no respect to them, and they 
also at length joined in the national amusement. 
And, indeed, it was not to be expected that they 
would act otherwise, as the emperor himself 
set the example. He is so fond of it, that 
he played at it the whole of the intruso, with his 
children and friends. 

I made several inquiries as to the origin 
of this strange custom, but nobody had the 
smallest idea. As a ceremony connected with 
a religious observance, I imagine bedewing the 
person with water, must have had its origin in 
some allusion to baptism. With the exception 


of this sport, and the opera, there is no other 
which the Brazilians indulge in during the car- 
nival. There were no masques, or any similar 

On the quarta feira de Cinza, on Ash Wed- 
nesday, a very imposing display took place. 
The ecclesiastics of an order of Franciscans 
exhibited, in procession, effigies of all the men 
eminent for piety and sanctity which their order 
had produced. It commenced at five o'clock 
in the evening, from the church of the Miseri- 
cordia, and extended for a mile through the 
Rua Direita. It consisted of large platforms, 
supported on poles, on each of which stood 
several images, as large as life, representing the 
different pious actions of the holy persons. 
Each platform was, in fact, a small stage, on 
which effigies, as large as human figures, dressed 
in exact costumes, and in different attitudes, 
represented real scenes. Some of these stages 
had so many figures, and were so heavy, that 
they required ten or twelve men, dressed in 
black robes, to support them ; and there were 
above thirty exhibited. 

Before each marched a number of children, 
decorated in the most fantastic manner, and 
led by monks; they were intended to repre- 
sent angels. They had all short petticoats, 


expanded almost horizontally by hoops, like the 
old court dresses, and their wings consisted of 
gauzes of different colours, stretched on circles 
of cane or bamboo, which compassed them 
round for several yards. Their hair was pro- 
fusely pomatumed, powdered, and curled ; their 
cheeks painted bright red; and in their hands, 
they carried silver wands, surmounted with 
broad labels, intimating the saint whose guar- 
dian angels they were. The train was closed 
by a group supporting a canopy, under which 
walked the superior of the order, surrounded by 
lighted lanterns on poles, and followed by a 
military band. The ponderous procession took 
three hours in marching up to the convent of 
S. Antonio, where it terminated. 

This display, as a worthy ecclesiastic told me, 
was intended for the edification of the multi- 
tude ; but, I am sorry to say, the multitude 
seemed but little edified by it. When any 
sacred figure looked grotesque, which it must 
be confessed some of them did, it excited shouts 
of laughter among the crowd, as soon as it ap- 
peared opposite them ; the very gravity and 
solemnity of some of them, with cowls and 
crucifixes, only seemed to afford matter of ridi- 
cule to the mob, particularly the people of 
colour, who appeared to think the jubilee not 


yet over, and that this solemn ceremony was 
only a part of it. Indeed, I thought it strongly 
resembled some of those religious processions 
which I saw revived in France, after the disuse 
into which they were fallen during the Revolu- 
tion ; all the solemnity once attached to such 
things, seemed completely to have passed away 
from the minds of the multitude. 

March 12, was the procession of the image of 
our Lord to the Misericordia, a ceremony always 
attended by the court. The image lay in the 
palace chapel, used as a cathedral. It was a 
large platform, surmounted with a canopy, and 
surrounded with curtains. Inside was a figure 
as large as life, bending under the weight of 
a cross, which protruded out behind. 

About eight o'clock, a number of persons 
entered the church, and one of them humbly 
kneeling down close beside me, placed his 
shoulder under the pole of the platform, and 
lifted it up. It was of considerable weight, and 
required no small muscular exertion ; and while 
I looked in the face of the strong man who 
supported it, I perceived he was the Emperor. 
It had been the practice of his father to the 
latest hour in Brazil to bear on his shoulders 
this cross through the streets of Rio, an ex- 
ample which his son closely follows in every 

VOL. ii. c c 


ceremonial act of devotion. The ministers placed 
themselves under the other poles, and the pon- 
derous catafalk was raised with difficulty from 
the pedestal on which it stood, and proceeded 
out of the church while the organ pealed, the 
choir shouted aloud an anthem, and the military 
band at the door struck up a solemn march. A 
number of torch -bearers formed a long lane, 
through which the procession moved to the 
church of the Misericordia. 

Here the floor was covered with the richest 
carpets, filled with ladies in the gayest attire, 
sitting on the ground in the Moorish fashion, 
except a lane up which the procession passed 
and deposited the catafalk on a pedestal near the 
altar. In laying it down, the puny supporters 
seemed to sink under it, leaving the whole 
weight on the emperor, who supported it like 
an Atlas ; but in depositing it, his hand was 
caught under it, where it remained wedged like 
Milo's, and he only extricated it with the loss 
of the skin. While wrapping his handkerchief 
round it, some of the supporters came up to 
kiss the wounded hand ; but whether the em- 
peror was displeased with their want of strength, 
or want of due attention, he pushed it rather 
roughly in their faces and left the chapel. The 
crowd seemed greatly amused at this. The 


friars who held the tapers laughed outright, 
and all the congregation followed the example, 
even to the moleques or blacks. No precau- 
tion was taken to exclude the mob. Close to 
the emperor, and pressing upon him, were 
blacks and whites, freemen and slaves, rich 
and poor, without distinction of persons, to 
which certainly no attention is paid in any 
religious ceremony ; but the whole was con- 
ducted with the levity of a puppet-show, and 
without the slightest regard to solemnity or 

The 19th was distinguished as a festival of 
high importance, and, next to Sunday, the most 
solemn holiday recognized, I believe, in the Bra- 
zilian church. This was the day of Sao Jose, 
St. Joseph, the spouse of Mary and earthly 
father of Jesus. All the public offices were 
closed, as well as the museum and public li- 
brary ; and all the people were walking in 
groups about the streets, in their best clothes, 
while a succession of rockets was discharged. 
In the evening solemn service was performed 
in the church of the saint, and in several others. 
I went to that of S. Pedro. 

The chapel within was brilliantly and indeed 
elegantly lighted up with a vast number of large 
wax tapers, in bright silver sconces, and in the 


centre a large glittering lustre ; round the cha- 
pel festoons of roses, and other rich artificial 
flowers, were suspended from light to light with 
great elegance, and the walls were hung with 
drapery of gold and silver brocade. The whole 
taste and genius of the Brazilians seem to be 
expended in their chapels ; and they excel in 
those pretty decorations. The altar was formed 
of a pyramid of lighted tapers, ascending to the 
roof; and on the summit stood the figures of 
Joseph and Mary, holding by the hand between 
them the child. They were all splendidly at- 
tired. A priest, dressed in a short rochet and 
scarlet tippet, suddenly entered the church, and 
hastily mounted the pulpit, and without prayer 
or text began abruptly his sermon, to which one 
half of the congregation listened, while the other 
was amused with the music and fire-works at 
the door. He looked up, and addressed himself 
entirely to the figure of Joseph, whom he often 
appealed to as " O grande patriarca." 

Quinta de Endoencas, or Holy Thursday, is 
distinguished by a ceremony practised with great 
humility and undeviating regularity by the late 
king, and followed by the present emperor, with 
the same duty as he has observed all other 
ceremonies, of which his father set the example. 
This was washing the feet of the beggars. On 


the day before, the poor men, selected for the 
purpose, were decently clothed, and walked about 
through the different churches, where large 
silver vases were laid out on the steps of the 
altar, as if preparatory to the same ceremony. 
When they came to have their feet washed, 
they were placed on a bench with three seats ; 
on the highest they sat, on the second their 
feet rested, and on the lowest the emperor knelt 
with a towel, and went through that semblance 
of humiliation. Dom John had brought with 
him a magnificent service of rich old plate, 
which is always displayed on this occasion. 

Holy Thursday is also distinguished by an- 
other remarkable ceremony, the consecration 
and exposure of the host. The light of day 
is excluded from all the churches, which are 
illuminated inside with wax tapers, and the host 
is exposed on the high altar of every one, in 
the midst of the blaze. Two men stand in 
robes of red or purple silk beside the altar, as 
guards to watch it. In some churches I saw 
the effigy of the body of our Saviour laid 
under a small cloister, and his hand exposed, 
which the crowd kissed, depositing money on 
a silver dish beside it at the same time. During 
the whole of the day, the explosion of rockets, 
and the ringing of bells are prohibited. As 


substitutes, they use a black board, with two 
coffin handles loosely attached, on each side. 
This a man holds by a loop at one end, and turn- 
ing it quickly round, the handles rattle against 
the board with an incessant and teazing sound, 
which is continued all day and night. When 
I inquired why this implement was now em- 
ployed, I was informed it was intended to per- 
form the office of a bell, the louder sound of 
which might disturb the repose of our Saviour. 

The night of this day is a promenade of all 
the people in the city. They put on their best 
clothes, and the streets are filled, till morning, 
with well-dressed groups ; and as it always falls 
on a season of moonlight, and the weather is 
generally fine, it is an enjoyment of which every 
one partakes. The time is enlivened by the 
amendoa, or presents, which are sent about, 
and are so called, because they were originally 
formed of almonds ; in process of time it became 
a general name for a present of every kind, and 
a negro at any time asks for his amendoa, 
when he expects a little money. Holy Thurs- 
day with us is called Maundy Thursday, and 
similar presents are made to the poor. Some 
derive the word maundy from mande, the basket 
in which the gift was sent ; others from manda- 
tum, as the day in which the great command 


of "love one other" is practised; but it appears 
to me to have its origin in this amendoa. All 
day these presents are seen going from house 
to house, wrapped up in napkins, and some 
times carried in coaches; but at night they are 
displayed in a more interesting manner. 

The night of Holy Thursday is the time de- 
voted to female slaves, during which they are 
permitted and encouraged to make up amendoas, 
and dispose of them for their own profit ; and 
at the door or passage leading to every church 
is a market established, where they are sold. 
Here the poor girls, dressed in their best clothes, 
and decked out in their simple ornaments, dis- 
play their confectionery, sometimes on tables 
covered with napkins, sometimes on the ground 
with lighted candles. It consists of almond 
comfits in conical bags, or in paper baskets neatly 
cut and painted, and sometimes of little figures 
of frosted sugar, of different characters and 
costumes, having their insides filled with a 
variety of good things. These figures generally 
sell for two patacs, or about 2s. 6d. each, and 
I never purchased any thing with more pleasure, 
than at this " holy fair," so humanely instituted 
to promote the industry and profit of poor female 
slaves. It is one of the many little institutions 
which mark the good and kindly traits of the 


Brazilian character ; and it almost smoothed the 
rough and hideous aspect of slavery, to see so 
many in a state of bondage on this night so 
neatly dressed, so cheerful, and apparently so 

Sexta da Paixao, or Good Friday, was ushered 
in, in solemn silence. No explosion of cannon, 
no ringing of bells, no discharge of sky-rockets. 
The only sound we heard, was the dull and 
dismal minute-guns from the French admiral's 
ship in the harbour, in funereal honour of the 
day. At one o'clock I went to see a parochial 
ceremony, in which the body of our Saviour was 
carried round the parish, accompanied by solemn 
music ; but in the evening was the grandest 
exhibition to be seen in the Catholic church. It 
was held in that of Terceiros, near the palace, 
where I repaired at seven o'clock. 

The church was nearly dark and full of 
people. A large purple curtain was drawn 
across the chancel, and presently a preacher 
ascended the pulpit, and began a very eloquent 
sermon on the crucifixion. After detailing the 
cause of Christ's death, arising from our offences, 
and the manner of it the most painful and 
ignominious, he suddenly said, " behold the 
Saviour you have murdered," and immediately 
the curtain drew, like as at the commencement 


of a tragedy, and exhibited all the persons inside 
who were to act the religious drama. The 
chancel was hung with black, and splendidly 
lighted up, with glittering silver chandeliers. 
Below was a rich mausoleum, on which lay the 
effigy of Christ. On each side stood figures 
with long beards, representing the disciples, 
richly but grotesquely dressed. In front was a 
band of Roman soldiers, with gilt helmets and 
breastplates, and a standard, with S P Q R 
worked in the centre, and in advance stood the 
centurion, an enormous bluff man, having a 
huge black beard, and looking so fierce that 
some of the women hid their faces. 

A procession was then formed, which marched 
into the street ; first, two enormous candelabra, 
holding corresponding wax tapers as large as 
bed-posts ; next a man bearing a black cross, over 
which hung white drapery forming the letter M, 
which I observed was displayed on all devices, 
and stood as the initial of Mary. Then followed 
the usual line of wax torch-bearers, forming a very 
long and broad lane, through which a number of 
children were led as angels, having wings of 
geese on their shoulders, hoop petticoats, faces 
rouged, and hair powdered, and over their 
heads large calashes of coloured silk, so that 
they resembled so many little irises moving in 


rainbows. They all carried in their hands some 
emblematic device ; one the nails, another the 
hammer, a third the sponge, a fourth the spear, 
a fifth the ladder, and last of all came one 
larger than the rest with a cock. 

You are not aware, perhaps, that the Brazi- 
lians possess the descendant of the very cock, 
that crew when Peter denied his master, which 
was often pointed out to me. I was surprised 
one morning at a very extraordinary sound, 
which proceeded from a yard not far from our 
house, which I discerned was the crowing of a 
cock. It was a creature of an extraordinary figure, 
immensely tall, almost all legs and thighs, with 
a very small body, and when he erected himself 
to crow, was as long as a crane ; but he was 
particularly distinguished by his song. At the 
conclusion of his crow, when other cocks ceased 
their note, he prolonged it into a very dismal 
croak, which had a monitory sound. One of 
our Brazilian servants then informed me, that it 
was the breed of the cock that crowed to Peter, 
and that this lengthened and dreary note was 
intended, as an additional warning and reproach 
to him for what he had done. 

The procession closed with the bier, preceded 
by sundry mourners, with their heads enveloped 
in white and black hoods, and followed by the 


apostles, soldiers, and centurion, then a group 
of angels, and lastly the Virgin herself ; whom, 
by an anachronism, they represent as young 
as the same figure in a procession of the nati- 
vity, not remembering that thirty-two years had 
elapsed, which should make some difference 
in a female face ; a full band playing a solemn 
dirge, and the regiment, in companies, with 
reversed arms and the officers in mourning, 
terminated the whole. 

In this grand procession were 800 persons, 
more than half of whom carried wax torches, and 
continued to move through the streets for two 
hours. While on their march, a dark cloud 
gathered over them, which discharged exceed- 
ingly vivid lightning, accompanied with very 
loud thunder, and gave something of a real 
solemnity to the display. This was followed 
by a deluge of rain, under which the immense 
crowd stood bare-headed, and the procession 
moved slowly on, as if on the finest day. 

The season of Lent concluded with Sabbado 
de Alleluia, or Hallelujah Saturday. This is 
also called Judas-day, from the very conspi- 
cuous figure he makes, and the vengeance 
which the people exercise on him. It is ge- 
nerally said to be like the exhibition of Guy 
Faux in England, but it does not bear to it 


the slightest resemblance. It was originally 
intended as a solemnity, similar to the other 
religious processions, but it is now a scene of 
fun and drollery, and made the vehicle of con- 
veying general and particular satire, and cer- 
tainly exhibits a most curious and interesting 
display of Brazilian manners and modes of 

On proceeding to town about ten o'clock, 
we saw the principal streets filled with different 
figures, some suspended on trees, some erected 
on poles, all admirably dressed, as large as life, 
and in high character, forming different groups, 
or single, and connected with others at a dis- 
tance, and all labelled underneath with verses, 
indicating what they were intended to represent. 
The principal figures were Judas and the devil, 
with a variety of dragons and serpents, filled 
with fire-works, intended to communicate one 
with the other, and explode in succession. At 
the meeting of four streets, was a gigantic Satan, 
surrounded by imps, all turned to the unfor- 
tunate Judas, on whom they were to rush at 
a given signal, and carry him off in a flame 
of fire. 

Besides the figure of Judas, which was varied 
in many ways, and surrounded by different 
infernal agents, there was a variety of others, 


which had no reference to his punishment; 
some, which had no connexion with him at 
all, and these contained either general or par- 
ticular satire. One was directed against women. 
It was a large cat, looking very demure, and 
under it a label, read with great amusement 
by some gentlemen in one window, to some 
ladies in the opposite : — 

" A cat I be — or he or she 

No matter — one case clearly made is ; 
In will to scratch, I fairly match 
With any here, among the ladies.*" 

Another was directed against men. It was 
the figure of a Roman soldier, with a lantern, 
with which he seemed to be searching for some- 
body. Under him was the following label : — 

" My name it is Mark, and I walk in the dark, 
But I hold up my lantern to view 
If you be the traitor, or if there be greater 
Among these good people than you.f " 

There were also some, of which the satire 
was not general, but directed to particular per- 
sons. There was one figure extremely well 

* " Serei gato ou serei gata 
Sere* o que vos quizereis, 
Porem sou na arranhadura 
Bern semelhante as mulheres." 

f " Sou Marcos, vou de lanterne 
Sem luz para assim ver bem, 
Se tu so seras o Judas 
Ou se he Judas mais alguem." 


dressed, as a desembargador, or advocate. He 
was a very grave and plausible-looking figure, 
in black, with a cocked-hat, long beard, and 
spectacles ; and he held in his hand a book, 
which he seemed to be intently reading. It 
was placed directly before the door of a noted 
desembargador, not much esteemed for his 
honesty, and was exactly like him. Underneath 
was the following label, which was read with 
delight by the crowd : — 

" A garb so sage, not always proves 
That honesty is found within; 
His present meditation moves 
On some deep roguery — I ween.*" 

Before the door of an English merchant, were two 
figures, that exactly resembled him and his wife. 
They were serious people, and their dress was 
imitated, particularly the lady's cap, which was 
a fac simile of the one she wore ; she appeared 
at the window, and certainly nothing could be 
more correct than the likeness. They had in- 
curred the wrath of the Brazilians, I was told, be- 
cause they had exclaimed against this exhibition 
as popish idolatry, and particularly because they 
had declined to contribute any thing towards it ; 

* Este Festo grave e serio 
Nao encnlca probidade ; 
Pois talvez que agora pense 
N'alguma perversidade. 


and were, I believe, the only English in the 
street who refused. The labels, though very 
droll, were intranslatable, and the manner in 
which they were exhibited, was of a humour 
too coarse to describe. 

We took our station in a window of the 
Rua Direita ; it commanded an admirable view 
of the whole street, which I will more parti- 
cularly describe, to convey to you an idea of 
what passed in all the rest. The broad street, 
for a considerable length, was lined on each side 
with palm trees, which formed a very pretty 
avenue. From the trunk of one tree to ano- 
ther, were drawn cords, concealed in wreaths 
of flowers, which were intended as cordons, 
behind which the spectators stood. From the op- 
posite balconies were similar cords, also covered 
with wreaths of flowers, crossing in the middle, 
from which hung down painted vases, of dif- 
ferent shapes and sizes, having something 
inside, which set conjecture to work. Between 
these suspended vases, were great varieties 
of figures, of various devices, labelled, very 
well dressed, and highly in character ; the 
whole forming a promenade, filled with silent 
masqueraders, exceedingly amusing. Among 
these, the most lofty and conspicuous was 
Judas. He was hanging from the branch of 


a high tree, dressed in white robes ; and above 
him, lying perdue among the branches, and 
ready to pounce down upon him, was Satan. 

The service of the day began in the churches, 
and when it arrived at that part where Hal- 
lelujah is first chanted, it is notified by a dis- 
charge of rockets from the street. This is the 
signal for the sport every where to begin ; im- 
mediately the bells ring, the bands strike up, 
and the explosion commences. 

First, Satan descends rapidly from the top 
of the tree, seizes upon the hanging body of 
Judas, and both are in a moment in flames. 
Curious fire-works, in succession, play about 
their limbs ; and at length, according to the 
verse on the label under him, the belly of 
Judas bursts open, and all the contents are 
scattered about, which the mob seize on as 
trophies, and the remainder of the figures dis- 
appear in a blaze. Next, the English figures 
took fire, and exhibited vagaries, which I cannot 
well describe, turning round to each other on 
a wheel, in a very curious manner. In this 
way, in succession, all the figures were ignited, 
and performed various evolutions, according to 
their characters, till they were all consumed. 

The space in the middle of the street was 
then cleared, and several knights on horseback, 


attended by squires, issued forth, armed with 
lances. After parading up and down the lists, 
they took their stand at a barrier at the end of 
the street. On a signal given, the barrier fell, 
and one of the knights ran tilt at a suspended 
vase with his spear; he burst it open, and out 
fell a sucking pig; the crowd rushed forward, 
and the first who could seize the squeaking 
prize, kept it. The second knight ran tilt at 
another, and out fell a monkey ; the crowd 
hastened to seize him, but jacko was too nimble, 
and escaped along the cord into our window. 
All the vases were thus broken in succession, and 
there came out a large lizard, a cat, and sundry 
other things ; but there yet remained one vase, 
on which all eyes were turned, and none of 
the knights seemed disposed to attack it. At 
length, one more hardy than the rest, rushed at 
it, and escaped for his life. When it was broken, 
there issued out a swarm of moribundos, or 
large hornets, who covered us like a cloud, 
darting at every one near them with the fiercest 
anger. The entire street was now full of wav- 
ing white handkerchiefs, every one defending 
his face from half a dozen of these assailants. 

During the whole of the exhibition, the po- 
lice attended, and the intendant rode up and 
down in full uniform ; but there seemed no 



occasion for their interference. The mob were 
very merry, but very orderly. No one seemed 
disposed to offend another in all their scrambles, 
except when, now and then, a poor negro wan- 
dered into the middle of the street, and he was 
kicked and cuffed without mercy, as if he was 
a thing altogether out of the pale of pity or 
consideration. About one o'clock the scene 
closed. The mob, as elsewhere, commenced the 
work of destruction on what remained ; the trees 
were pulled down, the remains of the figures 
seized as trophies, and the streets, from one end to 
the other, strewed with fragments of the pageant. 
The exhibition, which is really very amusing, 
and ingeniously got up, is singularly attractive 
to the Brazilians, and is growing more so every 
day, as, except the processions, and the opera 
which is very exclusive, they have no public 
recreation. There is much in it that retains 
the coarseness of the old comedy, and the 
acting of some of the figures was like those of 
the Dutch harlequin and the windmill, on which 
the ladies of Rio, like those of Rotterdam, 
looked with great satisfaction and amusement. 
The different streets vie with each other in the 
richness and variety of their display; and it was 
not decided, before I left, whether the Quitanda 
or Direita was entitled to the palm. The whole 


expense, which is defrayed by general subscrip- 
tion, amounted to twelve contos of reis, of 
which the Rua Direita expended four, which, 
reckoning the milrei at a dollar, as the Bra- 
zilians always do, would give nearly 1000Z. as 
the expense of one street. 

At four o'clock in the morning of Easter 
Sunday, the city was roused by a discharge of 
rockets in the air, and cannon from the for- 
tresses, intending to announce, by the lighting of 
the fire, and by the thunder of the artillery, the 
glad tidings of the resurrection of our Lord ; and 
immediately after, the Comforter he promised 
to send, was seen exhibited in different parts 
of the city. On my way to church, at eleven 
o'clock, I saw people just erecting it on a long 
pole, like a may-pole, painted, and decorated 
with ribands and wreaths. On the summit was 
a broad red flag, expanded like a vane, and 
turning with the wind. In the midst of rays, 
which issued from the centre, was the Dove 
descending from the sky. Similar emblems 
were erected in the Campo d'Acclamacao, and 
other public places. In their visible representa- 
tions of the incidents of Scripture, they do not 
seem to attend much to the order of time ; and 
events, I have observed, were anticipated, and 
often confounded together. 

dd 2 


From this time till Whitsunday, a very sin- 
gular custom was established. A boy, the son 
of a shopkeeper, was elected emperor of the 
Holy Spirit. He kept a little court, was splen- 
didly dressed, and his father's house became the 
rendezvous to all people, who assembled to pay 
their homage at the levee of this young spiritual 
monarch. It is a high gratification, but an 
expensive one, to the parents of the child, who 
keeps open house to all comers, and, during his 
reign, exercises a kind of papal authority; he 
directs the service of the church, and is con- 
sulted by the clergy as to the time of perform- 
ing it. 

On Easter Tuesday, collections are made for 
the Holy Spirit, and processions walk the city 
for that purpose. They consist of men dressed 
in red robes, bearing red flags, silver plates, 
and silk bags. The flags have a dove embroi- 
dered in the centre, with rays issuing from it. 
This the bearer waves as he walks along, pre- 
senting it to all he meets to kiss, particularly to 
negroes. Every body who kisses it, deposits 
money in the bag or plate. It is sometimes 
held up to windows, where ladies tie ribands, 
and decorate it with other ornaments. A band 
of music accompanies the procession, and they 
seem very merry. 


The whole of this series of procession and 
display was quite new to me, and, therefore, 
I have described them, though I am aware that 
similar exhibitions take place in Europe. The 
impression, however, formerly made by these 
visible representations of sacred events, seem 
entirely worn away, and they are treated by 
the spectators with a levity almost profane. It 
is the opinion of some, that they will soon fall 
into entire disuse, or degenerate into ludicrous 
exhibitions, like those of Judas-day, which is 
every year increasing in interest and attraction 
for the people here ; and certainly it is a very 
singular and amusing spectacle. 

About this time despatches were received from 
Pernambuco, which threw the city into con- 
siderable agitation. The people of this district 
seem never to have abandoned the revolutionary 
project they had conceived and endeavoured to 
execute in 1817. Notwithstanding the severity 
then exercised, another attempt was made, some 
time after, too unimportant to merit a particular 
detail, but evincing that the spirit was still un- 
subdued. They were among the first to ac- 
knowledge the emperor's title to the throne of 
Brazil, and the entire separation of the country 
from Portugal ; but they still cherished the 
hope of establishing a separate state for them- 


selves. Sundry jealousies existed between that 
district and Rio de Janeiro, and petty causes of 
discontent were subjects of continued irritation 
between them. Among the rest, the Pernam- 
bucans complained that a tax was levied on 
them to light the streets of Rio, while their own 
were left in total darkness. 

On the night of the 1st of February, 1829, 
about seventy men assembled in the vicinity, and 
seizing some horses on the road, they mounted 
them, and entered S. Antonio as a troop of ca- 
valry, deposed the authorities established there, 
and proclaimed a provisional government; cir- 
culating at the same time, and affixing to all the 
public places, pasquinades of the most abusive 
kind against the person and government of the 
emperor. They then invited the camera of the 
municipality to join them, but they refused to 
interfere, and in general the people, though not 
indisposed to the object of the insurgents, de- 
clined to commit themselves in a perilous at- 
tempt, where the means seemed so insufficient 
to obtain the end. Meantime, the military sta- 
tioned at RecifFe, amounting to about 300, were 
joined by the police, and they marched into 
S. Antonio ; but the insurgents, finding them- 
selves unsupported, retired before them, dis- 
persed, and took refuge in the Mato. 


The circumstances of this petty and abortive 
revolutionary movement, were not in themselves 
of sufficient importance to excite any serious 
apprehension ; but they were connected with 
others of apparently more consequence. It 
was rumoured that a similar and simultaneous 
movement had taken place at Maranhao. The 
known state of the province was very alarming. 
It is so distant from the capital, that some of 
the frontier towns of the interior cannot com- 
municate with it in less than a year ; and at 
Tabatinga, news from Rio is frequently brought 
round Cape Horn, and so from the coast across 
the Andes. This renders the influence of the 
imperial government comparatively weak ; while 
the vicinity of the republican provinces holds 
out strong seductions to follow their example. 
In the extensive woods of the district, is a 
number of fugitive slaves who live in a state 
of independence ; and such is the known dis- 
like of the people of Maranhao to any modi- 
fication of the old government, that they had 
rather rely on the co-operation of those lawless 
fugitives that submit to it. It was now ru- 
moured that the insurgents, joined by those 
blacks, had entered the capital, and put the 
governor, a French emigrant, to death ; and 
though it was immediately after known that he 


had put an end to his own life in a fit of de- 
rangement, the alarm did not at all subside. 

The first effect was felt in the currency, which, 
like the funds in England, is a kind of political 
barometer. Copper, the only metal in circu- 
lation, which had borne a discount of 32 per 
cent., next day rose to 45 ; and even at 
that enormous premium, people were unwilling 
to give it in exchange for bank paper. The 
soldiers of the garrison began to express dis- 
content, and alarm was secretly spreading. 

To meet the immediate emergency, an edi- 
tal was issued, signed by M. Calmon, minister of 
finance, to sell out of the treasury 1000 quilates 
of diamonds ; and in the meantime several ener- 
getic proclamations were issued by the emperor. 
The first states, that the usual formalities which 
secured the rights of individuals should be sus- 
pended, in order to proceed with more effect 
against the culpable ; the second, that military 
tribunals should proceed summarily against all 
taken with arms in their hands ; and the third, 
that sentence should be executed without wait- 
ing for the emperor's signature. 

To provide the means of carrying into effect 
these energetic measures in Rio, a new gallows 
was erected at the water-side, near the Trapiche 
de Francisco. The last persons executed here 


were Mehowich, a Maltese ; Lourinho, an Eu- 
ropean Portuguese ; and John William Rad- 
clifFe, born in Portugal, of English parents, who 
had all been concerned in the last insurrection 
at Pernambuco. Radcliffe was a professed in- 
fidel, and had written on the walls of his 
prison many reveries, in which his opinions were 
stated. After their death, the instrument by 
which they suffered was taken down ; but on 
passing through the place where it had stood, 
I saw some men completing a new one, the 
morning after the news arrived ; they had been 
set to work in the night, and at day-light the 
people saw the gallows before their doors, where 
it seemed to be now placed in terrorem. 

Another event occurred, which contributed 
not a little to the annoyance of the people of 
Rio. The unfortunate attempt to blockade the 
Rio de la Plata had involved the Brazilian 
government with the European powers, and 
the English, French, and Americans, had made 
pressing demands for seizure and detention of 
their ships. The two latter had been settled, 
and the Americans had received bills for the 
amount at six, twelve, and eighteen months, the 
first of which had become due, and was actually 
paid. The demands of the English alone, to 
the extent of 470,000/., remained unsatisfied. 


Lord Ponsonby had, pursuant to his instruc- 
tions, been very pressing in his representations, 
and a circumstance just after occurred, which 
excited in no small degree the alarm and 
anger of the Brazilians. 

Orders, it was said, were sent to the British 
admiral, to sail at the end of thirty days, if 
before that time the required satisfaction was 
not made, to blockade the harbour, and to seize 
every Brazilian vessel that entered. The admiral 
did sail at the specified time, taking with him 
not only the Thetis and Tribune frigates, but 
also the North Star, which had arrived but a 
day or two before from the coast of Africa. 
The wind was foul, but all the boats in the 
squadron were ordered out, and the admiral 
was seen, with nine boats a-head, making his 
way to his station. As I walked along the 
shore, the Brazilians were collected in groups, 
looking intently on his progress, and I found 
the town in a high state of excitement. I met 
a man whom I knew, who was looking out at 
the squadron in great agitation ; he turned sud- 
denly to me, and said — " We must seize all 
your ships in our harbour, confiscate all your 
property in the country, and fit out our mer- 
chantmen as privateers to cruise against your 
commerce in other places." The man, I found, 


spoke the sentiment of the citizens. I next day 
paid a visit to the Bishop of Rio ; he was in the 
act of signing several state papers, as president 
of the senate, preparatory to its meeting. The 
good man seemed in a considerable state of 
alarm. He asked me if the English were not 
preparing all to depart immediately from the 
country, and it was with some difficulty I could 
persuade him that it was not the case. 

The cause assigned for all this by the Bra- 
zilians, was something truly characteristic of the 
people. Our former minister, Mr. Gordon, had 
had some difference with the emperor on the 
subject of a house at Bota Fogo, in which, as 
I have heard, the emperor was decidedly wrong; 
a warm discussion ensued, and Mr. Gordon, 
conscious of his right, expressed himself with 
a becoming and independent spirit. When he 
was succeeded by Lord Ponsonby, the emperor 
inquired what countryman the new minister 
was, and on being informed he was an Irish- 
man, he said, he "was glad he had not again 
to encounter a proud Scotsman." This story 
was now revived, and it was circulated every 
where that the English minister for foreign 
affairs had taken the present measures of hos- 
tility, as a mode of avenging a family quarrel! 
I mention this as a proof of the credulity of 


these people, and the extreme absurdity of 
angry men. 

It was remarked that the French, on this 
occasion, gave their prompt assistance to tow 
out the British squadron, and it was shrewdly 
suspected that they were well pleased at the 
prospect of a rupture between England and 
Brazil, and readily lent their aid to accelerate 
it. It was with some disappointment, therefore, 
they saw the squadron again return in amity. 
Whatever the intentions of the admiral were, 
he met no ships to seize while he was out, and 
the immediate proposal of the Brazilian govern- 
ment for a satisfactory adjustment of the affair, 
put an end to all further necessity for coercive 

Another circumstance which at this time 
increased the embarrassment of the people, was 
the exceeding depreciation of bank paper. It 
was stated by the minister of finance that the 
discount on copper, silver, and gold, which in 
the year before was 20, 48, and 100 per cent., 
was now raised to 40, 80, and 190 ; and the 
exchange, which was then at 32, was now 
fallen to 20. This was attributed by him to 
the excessive quantity of the notes in circula- 
tion. It was, therefore, determined to withdraw 
a sufficient number, and this was carried into 


effect by the very summary process of burning 
them. The bank stands beside the custom- 
house, in the Rua Direita. As I was one morning 
passing by, I saw two large blazing pitch barrels 
placed in front, and a wide semicircle of soldiers 
surrounding them; between them was a large 
office table covered with bundles of bank notes, 
bound with red tape. Two clerks now came 
forward, and taking the bundles in succession, 
they flourished them over their heads, and then 
dropped them deliberately into the flames ; in 
this way 400 contos of reis were consumed in 
a moment, and this process I saw more than 
once repeated. 

Some unfortunate people who did not seem 
aware what was going on, wandered into the 
magic circle, in their way along the street, and 
approached too near the precious barrels ; they 
were immediately attacked by the soldiers, first 
kicked and cuffed, and then taken into custody. 
I learned, on inquiry, that on former occasions 
several bundles of these notes had been ab- 
stracted before they were consumed; and my 
informant showed me a house, in the Rua d'Al- 
fandega, erected by a man who was known 
to have carried off a fortune in this way, and 
it was, therefore, called the paper house. 

One more circumstance was added to increase 


at the time the general embarrassment. While 
the recollection of the alarm created by the 
Portuguese troops on a former occasion, and the 
more recent terror excited by the German and 
Irish foreign soldiers, were fresh in the minds of 
the Brazilians, news arrived that all the Portu- 
guese in England were about to embark, and 
the country be inundated with a fresh army 
of foreigners, whom the people held in such 
unconquerable prejudice and dislike. The em- 
peror was greatly embarrassed. They were the 
very men who had sacrificed every thing for his 
daughter and his constitution, yet he had not 
resolution to encounter the resentment of his 
easily excited subjects in Brazil, at a time and 
on a subject in which they were particularly 
sensitive ; he therefore came to the determina- 
tion of submitting the affair to the legislative 
body, and to that end called them together a 
month earlier than usual. In the mean time it 
appeared that the troops intended for Brazil, 
were to be sent to Terceira, and this fact was 
gladly announced, as removing a serious cause 
of embarrassment, before the meeting of the 
chambers; but on the 28th, only four days 
before the appointed meeting, the packet arrived, 
bringing intelligence of the unfortunate issue of 
the attempted landing at Terceira, and that the 


emigrants were compelled by British frigates 
to abandon the enterprise ; and the accounts 
given in the English papers were extracted 
into those of Brazil, with the severest, com- 

The circumstance which rendered the Brazi- 
lians so susceptible on this subject, in which 
otherwise they felt little interest, was, that the 
emigrants which they had with high gratification 
supposed to be otherwise disposed of, were now 
of necessity thrown on the country, and they 
could not conceal their vexation. When, there- 
fore, it was announced and circulated a few days 
after, that the French had given them an 
asylum, and were about to land them on the 
island, they could not conceal their exultation, 
not only at the disposal of the emigrants, but at 
the prospect of bringing the two nations into 
collision, not for a moment reflecting, that the 
sailing of a hostile force from the shores of 
England, was the only reason why England 
interfered, and that if any other nation chose to 
convey them, England had nothing to do with 
it. It was quite amusing to hear the specula- 
tions of the worthy people of Rio, who are all 
profound politicians, on this subject, at the same 
time that it was a matter of regret, that so 


many causes of estrangement should have oc- 
curred to render them less friendly and well 
disposed to us. 

The day appointed by the constitution for the 
meeting of the legislative body is the 3d of May 
in each year, unless for some special cause, when 
it may be convoked earlier. This cause had 
now occurred, and in consequence of the ex- 
pected arrival of these emigrants, and other 
reasons, it was directed to assemble on the 1st 
of April. It is necessary, however, that one- 
half of each chamber should be present to con- 
stitute a sitting, and that was not the case at 
the appointed time ; the state of the roads, 
from the prevalence of rains, had rendered the 
communications with the distant provinces diffi- 
cult and tedious, and a sufficient number of 
deputies had not arrived, so the chamber did not 
assemble on that inauspicious day. A deputa- 
tion had waited on the emperor to apprise him 
of the circumstance, and he appointed Thursday 
the 2d, at one o'clock, p. m. It does not 
appear from any direction in the constitutional 
code, in which house the members are to 
assemble ; it only provides that both the 
chambers shall be united at the opening and 
closing of the session, and the members take 




their seats indiscriminately ; and a deputy in- 
formed me, the emperor might convoke them at 
his palace, or at any place he chose. 

The senate-house has heen hitherto the place 
of assembling, and on this day also it was 
appointed for the purpose. The constitution 
directs, that the meeting of both chambers 
respectively shall be open to the public, and 
galleries are provided for their accommodation ; 
but in special cases it is necessary to have 
tickets, and that was now ordered. Besides the 
public gallery there is a private one, reserved 
for the foreign diplomatic body, and by courtesy 
we were all invited, and particular tickets for 
the purpose were sent to each of the persons 
attached to the legations. When we received 
ours, we were surprised and gratified to find the 
cards of admission to the senate of Brazil, were 
decorated with embossed wreaths, in which the 
rose, shamrock, and thistle were entwined, and 
we thought it a delicate compliment to our 
mission, to have the arms of our nation dis- 
played on our tickets. The good people of 
Brazil, however, do not yet understand such 
refinement. The cards, I was told, were pur- 
chased at an English shop in the Rua Direita, 
and by the same accident all the missions had 
this same device. 

VOL. u. E E 


The senate-house stands on the west side of 
the Campo d'Acclamacao. It was originally a pri- 
vate house, built under peculiar circumstances. 
In 1818, when the insurrection broke out at Per- 
nambuco, the governor of Bahia had accurate 
information of what was going forward in his 
own city, and the names of several who were 
implicated with the revolutionists ; and when 
the disturbances were suppressed, he had in his 
power some of the most opulent persons of the 
province, many of whom w 7 ere imprisoned at 
Bahia. To extricate themselves from the peri- 
lous prosecutions which impended over them, 
they advanced, it is said, large sums of money, 
and built for the governor a splendid palace in 
the Campo d'Acclamacao at Rio. This he 
afterwards disposed of to government for the 
use of the senate, and the revolutionary mer- 
chants of Bahia have at least the consolation to 
know, that their money erected this consti- 
tutional edifice. 

This house is a building with two fronts of 
two stories, having nine windows in each, closed 
with Venetian blinds. It was quite fresh, and 
neat with paint and whitewash, but without any 
architectural ornament, except a shallow cor- 
nice, supported by two pilasters at each end, 
and urn -shaped flower pots on the parapet, 


which were really flower pots filled with living 
plants ; the Brazilians having no idea of making 
any member in a building, without applying it 
to its apparent use. The whole was covered 
with plaster, washed yellow and green, and 
had a gaudy tawdry look, not befitting the gra- 
vity of the sage assembly for which it was de- 
signed. Close beside it is a quarry of the finest 
building stone perhaps in the world ; and 
some solid building will be erected in process 
of time befitting its appropriation. A grand 
edifice of hewn granite, in this vast square, 
surrounded with its magnificent accessories of 
lofty mountains and hanging woods, and re- 
ceiving within it the legislative body of a 
mighty nation, would certainly be a noble spec- 

As we approached, the way was lined with 
carriages at each side, forming a lane ; but the 
circumstance which struck us was the few spec- 
tators, and that a spectacle so interesting, and as 
yet so novel to the people of the country, should 
have excited so little interest. With the excep- 
tion of idle blacks scampering about, and the 
attendants of the senate, we did not see in the 
square above one hundred persons. We af- 
terwards found that the whole interest of 
the people was absorbed by the chamber of 

e e 2 


deputies, where it was excited to an intense 

Having ascended a staircase, we entered a 
salooned antechamber. The etiquette required, 
that on this occasion we should go full dressed ; 
and I had on my gown and ecclesiastical habi- 
liments. Not knowing where to go from the 
saloon, I asked an attendant, who immediately 
said, " Aqui, Senhor ; — Here, Sir ;" and leading 
the way, ushered us into the body of the chamber, 
where we found ourselves in the midst of the 
senators. Many of them were ecclesiastics, in 
the habit of their rank and order ; and it seems 
they had taken me for one of the members, and 
so sent me into the midst of them ; we escaped 
from the gaze of the people, and ascending a 
stair behind the throne, found ourselves in our 
gallery. The hall was small, as it was intended 
only to accommodate fifty persons, the number 
of the senate. A double row of chairs were 
placed round it, on which sat the members of 
the senate and deputies, all in full dress of their 
respective professions, but having no particular 
costume as senators or deputies. The ministers 
had merely embroidered blue coats, and the 
ecclesiastics gowns and robes ; of the latter, 
there seemed a great number present. At one 
end of the hall was the throne, just under where 


We sat ; and at the other the gallery for spec- 
tators. At a table, covered with green velvet, 
sat three deputies with a silver cup before 
them, in which they were receiving ballots for 
members, to form a deputation to meet the 
emperor when he should arrive. While this 
was going on, they all sat down with great 
silence and decorum. When it was over, they 
all stood up and buzzed about, as in the House 
of Commons, before the speaker takes the 

Just as the clock struck one, we heard the 
sound of trumpets and the trampling of horses, 
announcing the emperor's arrival, attended by 
his guard of honour. The members retained 
their places but not their seats ; and in a few 
minutes the deputation appeared at the lower 
door. They marched up, ranging themselves 
at each side of the hall, and the emperor en- 
tered, and passed up between them. He was 
dressed in large jack-boots, which ascended over 
the knees of his white breeches, with a long 
green velvet robe, spangled with golden stars, 
the cape of which was formed of the bright 
yellow feathers of the toucan, part of the cos- 
tume of the ancient caciques of the country. 
The train was long and supported by pages. 
On his head was the imperial Brazilian crown, 


whose form was an inverted cone, the small end 
being below and scarcely covering his forehead, 
like an Armenian calpac, ribbed with gold. In 
his hand he carried a gilded pole, full as long 
and as thick as the ancient constable's staff, and 
surmounted by a golden griffin, the device of 
the family of Braganza. In the street, on horse- 
back, or in an open carriage, he has the air and 
port of a gentleman ; but the habiliments he was 
encumbered with were so very unbecoming, that 
they seem exceedingly unfavourable to a digni- 
fied demeanour. As he advanced up the hall, 
he fixed his eye for a moment intently on our 
gallery, and certainly with no very kind or cor- 
dial expression. 

When seated on his throne, a secretary, who 
had preceded him with a velvet case on a 
cushion, now laid the case before him. He 
opened it, and took out two sheets of paper, 
one of which contained his written speech. He 
held his gilded staff at arms length in one hand, 
and the sheet of paper in the other, hemmed 
twice, and began to read his speech. He said 
he had called the chambers together before the 
usual time for two reasons : — First, because he 
expected the arrival of the Portuguese troops 
in Brazil ; and, secondly, because he wished 
that prompt attention should be paid to the 



finances of the country. One cause had ceased 
to exist, as the troops were not now likely to 
leave Europe, but the other was still very 
pressing. He therefore earnestly recommended 
the subject to their consideration, and beg- 
ged to remind them, it was the fourth time he 
had done so without effect. This last sen- 
tence he pronounced with a strong and par- 
ticular emphasis, which seemed to excite no 
small sensation among the members, who all 
looked at each other in the most significant 
manner. He then said the sitting was closed, 
and rose to depart, and looking up to our 
gallery, bowed with more appearance of cor- 
diality than at his entrance. The whole time 
of his remaining in the chamber did not exceed 
ten minutes. The space under the gallery, 
like that below the bar of the House of Lords, 
was filled with spectators after he had entered, 
and he had to squeeze his way, with some 
difficulty, through the crowd as he went out. 
He then retired to a dressing room, and de- 
scended to his carriage in a rich uniform. 
There was no emotion of any kind displayed 
among the people when he appeared ; he came 
and went with as much indifference as any one 
of the crowd. His carriage was a chariot, the 
panels being a gold ground, enamelled with 


flowers and armorial bearings, like the body of 
our Lord Mayor's coach. He was escorted by 
his guard of honour, composed of the citizens 
of Rio, and he dashed off at a gallop, while 
the few people collected looked quietly on, and 
showed not the smallest spark of sensibility, 
either by shouts or groans, which would have 
been displayed by an English mob on such an 

On the next day I attended the chamber 
of deputies, to hear the debates on the speech, 
and here a very different scene presented itself, 
The hour appointed for the commencement of 
business, is ten o'clock in the forenoon, and the 
president takes the chair, and the debate com- 
mences, when fifty, or half the number of the 
deputies are assembled. I called early on my 
friend Vasconcellos, who had just arrived in 
town. I found this celebrated orator, the leader 
of the popular voice of Brazil, the representative 
of its most opulent and influential province, 
accommodated in a manner very different from 
such a character in England. He lodged in 
a very dirty house, up a dark. narrow staircase, 
with every thing about him as comfortless as 
it was mean. I found him in a back room 
at breakfast, with some other deputies, and their 
refreshments were as simple, and their equipage 


as humble, as if a group of our common labourers 
were at a meal. They sat at a coarse naked 
kitchen table, without a cloth. They were 
partaking of tea and bread, which they broke 
between them, without knives or plates. Sup- 
posing I was an intruder on their menage, which 
they might not wish a stranger should witness, 
I was hastily retiring, but I was cordially 
received and welcomed ; and these legislators, 
like Andrew Marvel with his cold mutton, did 
not seem at all conscious, that they were not 
as dignified in their humble and frugal meal, as 
if they were surrounded with luxuries served 
on plate. We proceeded together to the 

The building in which the deputies assem- 
bled was originally the cadeia, or prison, and 
is situated just opposite the Rua da Cadeia, 
which is named from it. This circumstance 
has afforded a subject of sarcasm to the party 
hostile to the democratic chamber, who call 
the deputies by a name synonymous to our 
" gaol birds." It was diverted from its original 
use, on the arrival of the king, when it was 
attached to the palace, behind which it imme- 
diately stands, as one of the buildings appro- 
priated to the accommodation of persons about 
the court. It was afterwards converted into 


a post-office, and finally into a parliament- 
house. The lower part is still held by the 
post establishment, but the upper is fitted for 
a chamber, in which the deputies hold their 
sessions, with corresponding apartments for 
their secretaries and committees. The chamber 
was convoked for ten a.m., and such was the 
eagerness of the deputies, that the debate im- 
mediately commenced. 

When I arrived, the street was crowded 
with people, who all seemed in a state of 
high excitement, discussing subjects, in va- 
rious groups, in which the words " quarta 
vez," "fourth time," were often repeated, in 
tones of considerable displeasure. The stairs 
leading to the galleries were filled with people 
passing up and down, and the galleries were 
so crowded, that I found it impossible to make 
my way into any place where I could hear or 
see, and the interest of all about me was 
engaged to such an intense degree, that they 
would answer no question, but remained in the 
attitude of listeners, to catch even the sound 
of a word. At length, I thought of applying 
to some of the deputies, from whom I had just 
parted, and by their interference, I was admitted 
into one of the small boxes reserved for par- 
ticular persons. 


The chamber is an arched saloon supported 
on pillars, between which are galleries at each 
side, rising towards the roof, and capable of 
holding two or three hundred persons. These 
galleries are always open to the public, except 
on specified occasions ; and no ticket or inter- 
ference of any kind is required for admission. 
They are as free as the street, and are always 
filled with people, sometimes of the humblest 
rank ; yet the most perfect silence and decorum 
are observed, arising partly from the intense in- 
terest with which they listen to what is said. 
At the angles are four small private boxes, 
reserved for particular persons, especially for 
foreigners attached to the different legations ; 
and immediately below them are four tribunes, 
with desks in each, at which a reporter sits to 
take down the debates, where he is at his ease, 
and hears and sees distinctly without any of 
those impediments to accuracy which our re- 
porters complain of. The deputies sit on 
benches with backs, forming two concentric cir- 
cles ; and each occupies always the same seat. 
At the upper end of the chamber is the throne, 
surmounted with a canopy, with the arms of 
Brazil in front. Whenever the emperor may 
appoint the opening of the legislative body in 
this chamber, he occupies this throne ; at all 


other times it is concealed by a curtain pen- 
dant from the canopy. As this opening of the 
chamber never has taken place here, and pro- 
bably never will, a friend who was with me 
suggested to one of the deputies, in jest, to 
convert it into the president's chair. He took 
it quite in earnest, and turning to me with a 
serious, and somewhat alarmed countenance, 
asked if the gentleman was not a citizen of the 
United States. The spirit of democracy is sup- 
posed to be so prevalent, that any thing that 
has the remotest allusion to it, excites an im- 
mediate consciousness. In front of the throne 
is a large table, at which sits the president with 
two secretaries on each side ; one of whom, 
when he is not present, occupies his place ; and 
before them usually stand two silver cups, for 
receiving the members' tickets when a ballot 
takes place. The ministers and members who 
support them sit on the right hand side of the 
president, and the opposition on the left ; and 
thus they are distinguished like the cot6 droit, 
and cote gauche, of the French chambers. 

The first thing that struck me in the appear- 
ance of this house of commons, was the number 
of ecclesiastics, known either by their vestments 
or their shaven crowns. The president was the 
Bishop of Bahia, a low corpulent man, dressed 


in his pontifical robes. The lay members were 
distinguished by no particular costume, but were 
all neat in their appearance, in a greater degree, 
I think, than the members of our house. They 
sat, moreover, uncovered; a courtesy to the 
chamber not observed by us. They all rose to 
speak in their places, and the feeling and excite- 
ment of the moment had not time to evaporate 
in formally ascending a tribune, as in the French 
chambers. I was quite astonished at the ease, 
volubility, and animation with which they 
delivered themselves. Every thing they said 
appeared as energetic as it was unstudied ; and 
if I was to form an opinion of the character 
of the people from their deputies, I would 
say they were a nation of orators. They all 
seem to express themselves with the same 
facility. When a man rose to speak, he laid 
his hand on the front rail of the seat, and waited 
for a moment, as if to bespeak attention. He 
began with a quiet gravity, and rose gradually 
with his subject into a strain of rapid eloquence, 
accompanied by the most passionate action. 
Their replies were as prompt and fluent as 
their speeches ; and I never heard a man speak 
who seemed to me to have a set speech made 
for the occasion. The debates, notwithstanding 
the animation of the speakers, were conducted 


with great regularity and decorum. They never 
disturbed each other by any unseasonable in- 
terruption, and were perfectly amenable to the 
president's decision and the rules of the cham- 
ber. It was certainly creditable to these infant 
legislators, who had been secluded from all in- 
tercourse with foreign nations by narrow laws, 
and from each other by the natural state of the 
vast regions over which they were scattered, 
that they should so soon arrive at maturity ; and 
without precept to teach, or example to guide, 
should instinctively adopt a conduct, which one 
hardly sees in the most practised assemblies. It 
argues well for the freedom and prosperity of 
their magnificent country. 

Among the most distinguished speakers, was 
my friend Vasconcellos, who is the great leader 
of the opposition, and is always listened to with 
deep attention. From the quiet and hesitating 
manner of his conversation, I expected little 
from his oratory; but I was agreeably mistaken. 
His person is heavy and ungraceful, and his 
manner, when he commences, is correspondent; 
but as he warms with the interest of his subject, 
he gradually becomes more and more impassioned, 
and his language and his delivery are then elo- 
quent and convincing. He is, however, more 
distinguished for logical precision ; and in acute- 


ness of reasoning, he has no equal in the 

Of a very different character is his friend 
Custodio Dias, member also for the province 
of Minas Geraes. He is a thin brown man, 
with sharp prominent features, of a nervous 
quickness of manner ; and when at all excited, 
which is often the case, from a very slight cause, 
the muscles of his face are agitated by an extra- 
ordinary tremulous motion. He dresses in a 
frock of rusty black stuff, which, when buttoned, 
adds to his slender and meagre appearance; 
he wears his black hair cut short round his fore- 
head, and is distinguished by a small tonsure on 
his crown, as large as a dollar, the mark of his 
ecclesiastical character. His manners are the 
most pure and unmixed specimens of native 
growth. He told me, he never was out of 
Brazil, and spoke no language but Portuguese, 
except the Latin of his clerical profession, in 
which we conversed. He is one of the most 
constant speakers in the chamber, and some- 
times the most violent. He is shrewd and intel- 
ligent, of quick apprehension, rapid conception, 
and fluent delivery ; but seems almost excited 
to a degree of derangement on any constitu- 
tional question ; indeed, the very word consti- 
tution, uttered in the assembly, is like a spark 


cast among combustible materials, which sets 
any member in a blaze. He sometimes alarms 
the religious prejudices of the people by some 
daring proposal, violating the sanctity of saints' 
and holy days. The question of finance was 
one of such consequence, that it would admit 
of no delay, and he moved that the assembly 
should not intermit their discussions even on 
Good Friday. The motion was negatived, 
and it so shocked some of the people of Rio 
with whom I conversed, that they have since 
pronounced him an atheist. 

Another member distinguished in the assembly 
is Luiz Augusto May, also an ecclesiastic, and 
member for the Minas Geraes, which is remark- 
able for returning men distinguished by talent 
and singularity. May is a Portuguese by birth, 
and now an elderly man, with a thin aspect, 
and long white hair hanging over his face and 
shoulders. He has long been the editor of 
the paper, which he called, with great pro- 
priety, a " Malagueta," which I before men- 

Raymondo Jose da Cunha Matos is also a 
distinguished orator, whom I heard speak. He 
is deputy from some distant province, either 
Goyaz or Matto Grosso ; if for the latter, which 
returns but one, he is. member for the largest 


portion of country that ever one person repre- 
sented. The province is as large as France and 
Germany united, yet the Marquez d'Aracaty 
informed me, when he was governor of it a 
few years ago, it contained but 30,000 inhabi- 
tants. Cunha Matos is a military man, and a 
soldierly looking person, about forty, with a 
very determined careless air, and speaks with 
great freedom and energy, accompanied by much 
personal action. He is a violent oppositionist. 

Besides these, Joaquim Gonsalves Ledo, de- 
puty for the province of Rio de Janeiro, I 
thought particularly eloquent. There was a 
strain of courtesy and kindness in his manner 
that won over those even whom his arguments 
did not convince, and he struck me at once, as 
being a gentleman and a man of a good and 
hnmane disposition. 

The last I shall mention is Jose Clemente 
Pereira, a deputy also from Rio de Janeiro, and 
minister of the interior. I never missed him 
from the chamber. He was a lawyer of emi- 
nence, and married a rich widow. In the time 
of the cortes, he was president of a masonic 
society, which presented a petition on the neces- 
sity of recognizing that body in Brazil. He is 
supposed to be firmly attached to the constitu- 
tion. He was always in his place on the part of 



the ministry, to defend the measures of admini- 
stration when attacked, which he seemed to do 
with considerable readiness and dexterity. His 
manner is abrupt, his arguments close, and his 
language terse and concise. 

In order that you may yourself in some man- 
ner appreciate the talents and characters of the 
men I have described, I send the substance of a 
debate, and the very words of some of the 
speakers, which I took down on the spot. I 
also send you a sketch of the interior of the 
chamber, taken by a German artist whom I 
brought with me to the gallery, and who has 
endeavoured to introduce, as far as could be 
done on such a scale, the persons of the de- 
puties. It represents of course but one section 
of the chamber, that of the costa esquerda, cote 
gauche, or opposition side. The ecclesiastic in 
the president's chair, is the Bishop of Bahia. 
The speaker with vehement gesture and action 
is Custodio Dias ; beside him Cunha Matos ; 
and the corpulent figure leaning on the bar of 
the bench and attentively listening, is Vascon- 
cellos. The persons in the tribunes are the 
reporters, and the men on the floor are atten- 
dants handing round the finance reports just 
published, for the informaion of the members. 

The subject of the debate was the answer to 


the address ; the discussion of which, with the 
amendments proposed by Vasconcellos and 
others, were continued for eight or nine days. 
Of the two objects mentioned as reasons for the 
premature assembling of the legislative body, — 
one, — the arrival of the Portuguese emigrants 
had ceased to exist before the chamber met ; it 
was, therefore, proposed that no notice of this 
should be taken in the reply, as it would be 
quite superfluous ; the other, on the question of 
finance, had excited much heat and ill humour 
from the manner in which it had been recom- 
mended ; and the peremptory and angry rebuke 
implied in the observation, that the emperor 
recommended it for the fourth time, had elicited 
a variety of observations, in which the offensive 
words were repeated and tortured in all manner 
of tones and forms. There was a sufficient 
reason, they said, for recommending it so often ; 
and that was because ministers had refused all 
information, repeatedly asked for, on the sub- 
ject ; yet they insulted the chamber by suppos- 
ing they had not the interests of the country at 
heart, in thus neglecting to take efficacious mea- 
sures in the affairs of finance ; and they de- 
manded further sacrifices from the people, when 
they had not given any account of the money 
they had already received. The first speaker that 

F F 2 


particularly attracted my notice, was Gonsalves 
Ledo, member for Rio ; he was of opinion, that 
no notice of the Portuguese troops should be 
taken in the reply to the address, and he spoke, 
as I thought, very eloquently, as follows : — 

" It is undoubtedly," said he, " the usage, and 

the necessary practice of the chamber, to advert 

to all the topics recommended in the speech from 

the throne ; but, is this a topic ? Certainly not, 

Mr. President. A topic is all that proposition 

which announces business, which it is right to 

discuss, either to provide remedies for the past, or 

precautions for the future ; and which announces 

remedies or precautions already taken by the 

executive, and submitted to the legislative body 

for their information or approbation. But the 

mere mention of the Portuguese troops does 

not come under any of these cases. It scarcely 

enters into the speech from the throne as an 

historic event, and should not for a moment 

occupy the time of the assembly, as a matter 

they ought to discuss. It is absurd to suppose 

that the throne requires an opinion of the 

chamber, as to a circumstance which never 

arrived at existence, when it is anxious to direct 

all our care to an event, which has actually 

taken place, and threatens us with impending 

evils. It is true, Mr. President, that our hearts 


were frozen with horror, at hearing that those 
strange troops were approaching ; it is true, that 
there is no Brazilian, to whom his country is dear, 
who does not tremble, when he contemplates 
the increase of difficulties and embarrassments 
which these emigrants would heap upon the 
empire ; it is true, that there is not one who does 
not curse, from the bottom of his heart, those 
two foul cancers which, on the banks of the 
Thames, are eating into the substance of Brazil, 
and who are stigmatized as the authors of this 
resolution of the Portuguese ; and, in the same 
degree, it is natural that our fury should blaze 
out when the evil has passed us. But that 
conduct which is suitable to an individual 
citizen, is unsuitable to the national representa- 
tive. We are called upon to remedy evils that 
exist — what have we to do with those which 
do not ? Did their coming depend upon govern- 
ment ? No. Did their return ? No. There is 
not time left us, then, for censure or approbation. 
Is it then to obtain the opinion of the nation ? 
That has been already expressed in a thousand 
different ways. Therefore, Mr. President, the 
committee will act with perfect prudence in 
guarding silence on this subject — an energetic 
silence, which will speak more loudly than any 
reply, and which, moreover, will secure us from 


the imputation, as legislators, of levity or in- 
humanity — of levity, in deciding hostilely, and 
without a serious examination of all its bearings 
and motives, and the influence it might have 
on our foreign and domestic relations — of in- 
humanity, since assuredly there will not be 
wanting those among our constituents, who will 
say, that such was our anxiety to evince to the 
world, that we would deny an asylum to brave 
men, who supported our own principles, and 
adopted our own system, and were for that 
reason persecuted by a tyrant, that we would 
not let pass the most indirect occasion to display 
it. No, Mr. President. Let us bless that Pro- 
vidence, who rules the destinies of nations, from 
the bottom of our hearts, that we are delivered 
from those embarrassing difficulties ; but let us 
not, with respect to this, display to other nations 
that we are inconsiderate or inhuman." 

Vasconcellos rose in reply. — " A speech from 
the throne," said he, " is the speech of the 
minister, and in this light it has been considered 
in Brazil, during three different discussions, in 
the chamber of deputies. It is in this view 
that I offer the amendments lying on the table ; 
and it is in this view that every member of the 
assembly here analyzed its contents. 

U When a communication of this kind is made. 


how does the legislative body of England act ? 
It follows a system different from that of all 
others. The answer to the speech is nothing 
more than a conception (Jiuma idea) of the 
same expressions that fall from the throne, in- 
somuch so that the reply is made on the same 
day that the chambers are opened. 

" But the French take another path (outra 
vereda). The French assembly suppose that 
they ought to communicate to the sovereign 
the sentiments of the people ; and this is the 
line of conduct we ought to follow. The mo- 
narch communicates the opinions of the go- 
vernment, and the general assembly, in reply, 
returns the opinions of the nation. What better 
opportunity can the legislative body have to 
convey truth to the throne, than that in which 
the throne commences by submitting to it the 
conduct of the administration ? Consequently 
it is unquestionable that we ought to avail our- 
selves of that occasion. 

" The expressions used to the throne ought 
to be very respectful ; — I admit it ; but those 
which we use on important occasions ought to 
be such as are adapted to the good of the 
Brazilian people. Consequently, since we have 
heard the speech at the opening of the cham- 
bers, we ought to declare, in reply, the truth, 


such as it is. Let no one tell me, gentlemen, 
that truth is harsh and apt to cause scandal ; it 
never can scandalize any but the enemies of 
public prosperity. Brazil possesses a monarch 
who desires to hear the truth ; [great ap- 
plause'] who may be many times deceived ; 
but the moment he hears the truth he em- 
braces it : [great applause.] My amendment 
proposes to notice that part of the speech from 
the throne, which states that one cause for the 
early convocation of the legislative body had 
ceased to exist; but an illustrious deputy sup- 
poses we ought not now to touch on this part 
of the speech. But, Sirs, the throne has deemed 
it so important, as notwithstanding the change 
of circumstances, to communicate it to the 
chamber ; and shall the chamber show so great 
a want of interest in the coming of Portuguese 
troops, as not to notice an event which would 
compromise the tranquillity, independence, and 
liberty of Brazil ? Why such culpable indiffe- 
rence ? I can see no sufficient reason for it. 

" My amendment embraces two objects ; to 
express to his Majesty the great pleasure his 
communication on this subject gives to the 
chamber of deputies, and to declare what are 
the sentiments of the nation upon it — that they 
will never give permission for the entrance of 


Portuguese troops into Brazil. It appears to me 
that this amendment in both its parts contains 
no expressions either unworthy of this chamber 
or offensive to the throne. It is certain that 
the throne prefers the prosperity of the country 
to every other consideration, and cannot there- 
fore wish for the arrival of those troops. How 
then is it possible for a moment to suppose that 
such a declaration is in the slightest degree of- 
fensive ? It cannot be." 

He was followed by Custodio Dias, who rose 
with his usual impatience, and burst out with 
his usual impetuosity : — " I will use," said he, 
"no argument to convince the chamber of a 
fact, of which they already are, or ought to 
be, persuaded, that every speech from the 
throne is a composition of the minister, and 
should always be answered as such. But I 
will even assume that it is not ; and yet, I 
will say, that it ought to be the established 
principle of the deputies of the people to speak 
the truth, and tell it to the throne, however 
rough and harsh it may be considered. But 
perhaps it would more accord with the dignity of 
the organ, through which a great and cultivated 
people express their sentiments, to use decorous 
circumlocutions (rodeios), and cautious and 
distant allusions, rather than the strong and 


manly language of veracity, in detailing matters 
of fact and notoriety! But I say, that the 
deputies of the nation are about to speak to a 
chief who is himself but a deputy of the nation, 
for all the powers established in Brazil are 
recognized but as delegates emanating from the 
people, and acting for their benefit alone ; and 
when any of them are addressed, it is necessary 
to use plain and distinct language. If that 
language be not understood, or not attended 
to, the right of enforcing it belongs to those 
who speak it. When they dictate, they must 
be obeyed ; if not, resistance is not less their 
right than it is their duty ; and if the nation 
must have recourse to this last expedient, we 
will see who will be victorious.* The alternative 
has now arrived, and if the ministers who have 
brought the nation to its present state of em- 
barrassment and distress, do not resign, the 
nation must rise and dismiss them." He then 
stated that he had a specific catalogue of 
offences to charge them with. 

This brought up Clemente Pereira, the mi- 
nister of the interior, to defend the measures 

* The expression " Entao a nacao recorrera ao ultimo meio — 
e veremos quern vince," was afterwards quoted by all the newspapers, 
and repeated by all the people, with various feelings of reprobation 
and applause ; but from what I could learn, the latter greatly pre- 


of himself and his colleagues. Among other 
things, they had heen accused of wishing to 
involve Brazil in a war with Portugal, and the 
conduct of their agents in England had afforded 
foundation for the charge. 

" A proposition/' said he, " of the most 
perilous nature has been just laid down by 
the Senhor Padre Jose Custodio, averring, in 
the most positive manner, that if by chance 
the ministers who compose the actual admi-* 
nistration, did not resign, in consequence of 
charges made against them, it would be neces- 
sary to have recourse to the last expedient 
which the nation should decide on. 

" It is terrible to hear expressions so sub- 
versive of all government, so unworthy of being 
pronounced in this chamber. God forbid we 
should ever arrive at this horrible state of 
things, so disastrous if his proposition be 
verified ! But I demand from the illustrious 
deputy, the facts and documents on which he 
founds his accusation. I pledge myself he can 
produce none. But ministers, on the con- 
trary, will prove by facts and documents, at the 
proper time, and when legally required, that 
so far from wishing to involve the country in 
the affairs of Portugal, they have reproved, 
in the most decided manner, all acts in that 


respect, committed by the Brazilian diplomatists 
in Europe, and one of them has even been 
dismissed for his conduct. Will the illustrious 
deputy impute to ministers, among other faults, 
that Europe is situated at such a distance from 
Brazil, that the expression of their disappro- 
bation could not arrive in London, before it 
was possible to reach it ? 

" With respect to the recommendation on the 
subject of finance, which members have dwelt 
on with such reiteration, the speech from the 
throne affirmed merely, that salutary and effi- 
cacious methods should be adopted. Will the 
illustrious deputy say that the methods taken 
have been efficacious ? The very necessity of 
the recommendation is a proof that they have 
not. It is not by vague and indefinite charges 
that any thing is proved. I rejoice that the 
reverend deputy, Custodio Dias, has something 
specific to bring forward, we shall then put 
it to the test, and ascertain who is the 

When the president put the question, he said, 
" Let all who are of this opinion rise." The 
ayes therefore stood up, and the noes remained 
sitting. The amendments of Vasconcellos were 
carried by a considerable majority. At one, 
p.m. the house adjourned. 


All the time we remained in Rio, the same 
intense interest was excited by the details of 
the chamber of deputies, the galleries of which 
were crowded every day, while the gallery of 
the senate, to which the public are equally 
invited, was always empty. With the exception 
of the bolleros, or drivers of cabriolets, and 
other attendants on the members, I seldom met 
a person there. 

When I next called to see Vasconcellos, he 
was very unwell, with a violent affection of 
his chest, from over exertion in the chamber. 
He was lying extended on his bed, scarcely 
able to move or breathe, and the physician 
informed me, it was probable he would not long 
survive ; and this Franklin, as he is called, 
of South America, would leave a vacancy in 
the chamber, which would not be speedily filled 
up in Brazil. He is a man who steers an even 
course between the extremes of despotism and 
democracy. He is a sincere and ardent friend 
of the constitutional government, which he 
conceives best calculated to confer happiness 
and prosperity on such a country as Brazil, 
and equally an enemy to the wild and vision- 
ary schemes of pure republicanism, which he 
knows would involve it in interminable anarchy 
and confusion. Such a man, whose character 


gives weight, and whose eloquence brings con- 
viction of the justness of his political opinions, 
would be a serious public loss in the present 
state of the country. 

Notwithstanding the decided hostility ex- 
pressed by the chambers, to the introduction of 
any Portuguese emigrants, in which they only 
echoed the voice of the country, a body of them, 
among whom were some Germans, had a short 
time before arrived. A Danish vessel brought 
over 184, who left Plymouth in March, and 
landed them at Rio in a state of great distress. 
This was at first talked of very warmly, as a 
dangerous and daring measure, infringing on the 
constitution ; and it was supposed they would be 
obliged to return. But after remaining some 
days in great misery, without any support from 
government, the good nature of the Brazilians 
overcame their prejudices. A subscription was 
entered into for their relief, to which the em- 
peror himself set down his name as an indivi- 
dual; and when a sufficient sum was collected, 
they were placed under the care of the superin- 
tendent of colonies, and located in the interior ; 
an important benefit to a country, where every 
white man introduced is a valuable acquisition. 

April the 4th was the birth-day of the young 
Queen of Portugal, when she attained her tenth 


year, and there was a grand levee at the palace, 
to which we went for the last time. Besides the 
usual assemblage which I had met before, there 
were then present the French and English 
admirals and their officers. I met also on this 
occasion the Rev. Mr. Stewart, who was on his 
way from North America to the Sandwich 
Islands as a missionary, and who has published 
a very interesting account of his former resi- 
dence there. I was well pleased afterwards to 
cultivate his acquaintance at the house of Mr. 
Tudor, the American minister, and found him a 
very amiable man. The accident of our both 
meeting at this place was of rare occurrence, 
as two clergymen of the reformed church are 
not often seen at the same time, at a levee in 
Brazil. The emperor on this occasion stood on 
the steps of the throne with his three children, 
his son and two daughters, and it was certainly 
an interesting spectacle to see the father and his 
little family about him ; it would, however, have 
been more so, had they been dressed with the 
simplicity of the boy on a former occasion, but 
now they were buried in inflated gauses, and 
glittering in tinsel, and resembled the gaudy 
young angels in the procession of Passion-week. 
When I first went forth to view the town, 
mv mind was filled with the accounts I had 


heard, of the intolerable insolence and tyranny 
exercised over the people, when any of the 
royal family went abroad, and the more than 
oriental homage exacted from persons of all 
ranks, whenever they accidentally met them. 
The picadores, the cadets of the court, and 
whole tribes of attendants, which moved as 
satellites round the orb of the royal carriage, 
were called, by the Brazilians, by the very 
appropriate name of " largura," or persons who 
kept the whole way to themselves, and trampled, 
without mercy or consideration, on whoever 
stood in their path and could not move out of 
it, which it was very difficult to do, in narrow 
streets, through which they drove at a furious 
speed. To this was frequently added personal 
insult, and often violent assaults on individuals, 
who, from inadvertence or ignorance, suffered a 
royal carriage to pass without falling on their 
knees ; and as I have heard persons describe it, 
who were themselves witnesses and sufferers, 
it must have been the most odious and insuffer- 
able that ever was exercised in modern times, 
and equalled only by the absurd and oppressive 
regulations of Paul at St. Petersburgh, in the 
time of his greatest insanity. 

The first coming of the royal family, was 
hailed by the people with such enthusiasm, that 


they were ready themselves to pay a homage, 
which they thought due to a superior order of 
beings in the creation, and they paid it freely, 
even without its being exacted ; but it was also 
exacted from foreigners, whose modes of think- 
ing, and habits of life, were repugnant to such 
assumption, and some very disagreeable colli- 
sions with those satellites convinced the court 
that they would not submit to the degradation. 
This example, and the growing spirit of disaffec- 
tion among the people, as the first impressions 
of awe and reverence wore away, at length 
abated it to such a degree, that, on our arrival, 
not a trace of it remained. 

Almost the first person I encountered when I 
went abroad, was the emperor, and with the 
impression of what I had heard on my mind, I 
hastily escaped into a door-way, not feeling 
disposed either to kneel down in the mud, or 
be flogged. He passed, however, in a phaeton, 
in a very plain way ; few noticed his approach, 
and the only mark of respect, was the common 
courtesy of taking off the hat, which every 
Brazilian pays to his neighbour, even of inferior 
rank to himself. I frequently met him after- 
wards, and was sometimes so engaged with 
other objects, that I neglected even this cere- 
mony, but I never was reminded of it by any 



of his attendants. Indeed, not a trace of that 
haughtiness and servility, which I had heard so 
much of, seemed to remain. Whenever the 
emperor goes with an escort along an open and 
little frequented plain, he generally proceeds at 
a sweeping pace ; but when he enters a street or 
thronged road, he and his attendants move 
gently and with caution, as if the life and limbs 
of his subjects were held by him in some 

The church of N. S. da Gloria, close by our 
house, was that to which he was particularly at- 
tached, from a sincere and deep feeling, I was told, 
for the memory of his wife. Every Saturday, at 
nine in the morning, as regular as the movement 
of a clock, he passed our door, driving four 
mules in a phaeton, and attended by a troop of 
horse with a trumpeter. I frequently followed 
in my morning walk over the hill. The emperor 
always stopped his phaeton at the bottom, and 
walked up, leaning on his chamberlain, and 
dressed generally in plain clothes. A few re- 
spectable people of the neighbourhood formed 
the congregation on this occasion, and when 
he walked in they followed him ; he knelt on a 
carpet laid on the steps of the altar, and they 
knelt behind him. I have observed him during 
the continuance of the service, and he seemed 


serious and sincere, frequently crossing himself 
with much devotion. When it was over they all 
rose, and he walked out among the crowd, as a 
simple individual of the congregation. He was 
generally accosted in the portico by some person, 
with whom he entered into familiar conversation ; 
and on one occasion a droll forward fellow, of 
the lower ranks, told him some story with the 
ease and familiarity he would to a common 
acquaintance, at which the emperor laughed 
heartily, and every one about him joined, as if 
they were not in the smallest degree restrained 
by his presence. On his way down he generally 
had a group about him joking in the same way, 
and his whole progress was totally divested of 
any seeming dislike to the prqfanum vulgus, or a 
wish to repel them, but was on the extreme of 
familiarity. When he again entered his carriage 
he drove off with velocity, followed by his 
guards at a gallop, and was soon lost in clouds 
of dust and sand. 

I had, however, an opportunity of a more 
intimate knowledge of him by a personal in- 
terview. It had occurred to me on leaving 
England, that some books would be an accept- 
able presentation in a young country, where 
literature was beginning to dawn, a thirst for 
information evinced, and the pursuit of know- 



ledge every way encouraged by the emperor and 
his ministers. To this end I got some works in 
which I myself had some concern, and which 
I knew had not made their way to Brazil, 
splendidly bound in England, and brought them 
with me ; and I communicated to the Marquez 
d'Aracaty, the minister of foreign affairs, with 
whom I was personally acquainted, my wish to 
present them to his Imperial Majesty, knowing 
his wish for information of every kind, and 
presuming to hope that he would not be indis- 
posed to receive them, as a tribute of respect 
from a stranger. The marquez informed me in 
reply, that his master was pleased to accept 
with great satisfaction the works I offered, and 
to afford me an opportunity of paying my 
personal respects at the palace of S. Christovao, 
on the following Monday at twelve o'clock. 

The palace of S. Christovao stands at the 
opposite extremity of Rio, about three miles 
from the city. It was originally a private house, 
and exhibits a proof, among others, of the 
estimation in which Dom John was held on his 
first arrival, when the good citizens were all 
pressing forward, eager to show him marks of 
their personal esteem and good-will. Among 
these, Eliaz Antonio Lopez, a rich merchant of 
Rio, particularly distinguished himself. He had 


built a country-seat near the village of S. Chris- 
tovao, to which he retired with his family from 
the fatigues of business. The Prince Regent at 
this time had no residence, except the hot and 
not very healthy palace in the middle of Rio ; 
and when the citizen saw him harassed and ex- 
hausted with the exertions of a busy day, without 
the means of retirement and pure air, he imme- 
diately determined to give up his own residence 
for his accommodation. He therefore sent for 
workmen, had the front of the house embla- 
zoned with the royal arms, the rooms splendidly 
furnished, and when every thing was ready, he 
invited the king to see it. Dom John was 
astonished to find a citizen's chacara fitted up 
with the splendour of a royal residence, but 
more so when he was informed it was done for 
his use and accommodation. The offer of it 
was joyfully accepted, and from that time it has 
been the constant and favourite residence of his 
family, and is called the Quinta Real of Boa 

It stands on a considerable eminence near the 
river Maracanan ; behind it rises a magnificent 
chain of hills, or rather mountains, forming a 
dense mass of light and shade, from which 
emerges an inclined peak, called from its shape, 
Bico do Papagaio, or the Parrot's Bill, which is 


nearly 1800 feet high. Advancing from this dark 
and picturesque chain, are several smaller hills 
and knolls covered with wood, smiling in the 
light with varied hues of rich and vivid verdure ; 
before it lies the bay, expanded with its islands ; 
and sweeping just under the eminence on which 
the house stands, are the beautiful bays of 
Alferes and the Gamboa. Indeed, nothing, even 
in Brazil, exceeds the beauty of the prospect 
from this situation. 

As I approached the house, I perceived two 
edifices, intended also for palaces, but not 
finished ; one was begun by the citizens for 
Dom John, near his favourite spot, but discon- 
tinued when he left the country ; the other, with 
little regard to decorum or the restraint of 
public opinion, was erected, I was informed by 
the driver of my carriage, for the Marqueza 
de Santos, and he shook his head with a very 
serious countenance. The original house of the 
worthy citizen is still the royal residence, but 
the emperor has greatly enlarged it, making to 
it every year some addition. It is a long edifice, 
having a facade of two large pavilions, united 
by an open veranda. There is little taste dis- 
played in the grounds about the house ; the 
eminence is highly susceptible of picturesque im- 
provements, but is quite naked ; the spirit of the 


people being, here as conspicuous as elsewhere, 
improving the country by cutting down trees, 
but never planting them. The approach is by 
an open screen of Portland-stone, something 
like the entrance to Hyde Park. 

When Dom John first obtained possession of 
this place, he was about to erect a proper ap- 
proach to it, which it altogether wanted ; and 
Lord Strangforcl made for him a sketch of the 
elegant screen at the entrance of Sion House, 
which was greatly admired by the Prince Re- 
gent. This circumstance was communicated by 
his lordship to the late Duke of Northumber- 
land, who munificently caused an exact model 
of it to be made of Portland stone in England, 
surmounted with the arms of Portugal ; and 
had it transported to Brazil at his own expense. 
It was, however, spoiled in the erection, from 
the very awkward position in which it stands ; 
and you see a very elegant architectural orna- 
ment altogether out of its place. To increase 
its effect, it has been surmounted with pine- 
apples ; not in the way in which we represent 
them, as architectural members, but standing on 
long branching stalks, as unnatural as they are 
mean. In the front of the building is a court- 
yard, with a circular fountain in the centre, 
surrounded by low whitewashed walls, like a 


common farm-yard. The resemblance was more 
complete, by several mean looking seges, or 
cabriolets, standing round it ; the dirty drivers 
of which were in keeping with their carriages. 
There was a levee of ministers at the palace, 
and these were the machines in which they 
arrived. — So simple was the equipage of the 
ministers of a great empire. 

I was a few minutes before my time, and I 
employed them in walking up and down the 
veranda, with one of the pages. In a room 
which opened into it, was the young princess 
Januaria, with her music master, Portugallo, a 
celebrated composer, who resides at Rio, and of 
whom the emperor is very fond. He has pro- 
duced several fine operas, performed at the Rio 
theatre ; and it is said, assisted the emperor in 
all the compositions, for which he has gained 
exclusive credit. The progress of his present 
pupil on the piano-forte, did not seem to be very 
promising ; and her attempts appeared to me to 
evince but little musical talent. At each end of 
the veranda was a large door-way, closed by an 
embroidered screen of cloth, exactly like the 
door curtains of the east ; presently one of them 
was lifted up, and the Marquez d'Aracaty made 
his appearance at the opening, and beckoned 
me in. 


I found the emperor standing in the middle of 
a room inside. When I had seen him before on 
the steps of the throne, with his little boy beside 
him, he looked to me a tall and portly man; 
but when I now approached, and we stood close 
together, I perceived his person was below the 
middle size, and remarkably thick and sturdy. 
His face was full, and appeared deeply pitted or 
blotched. His hair was black and thick about 
his forehead, with large whiskers, and his coun- 
tenance rather coarse and forbidding. His 
manner, however, though dry, was affable and 
courteous. When I approached him, he said 
to me in French, " I am much obliged to you 
for the books you sent me by the Marquez 
d'Aracaty." " Your Majesty does me too much 
honour. I trust you found in them something 
to approve of ? " " Oh ! as to that, I have not 
had time yet to read them ; besides, I do not un- 
derstand English well." " I have been informed 
your Majesty speaks it fluently?" " No ! I was 
learning it from father Tilbury, but he is ill, poor 
man. How did you find the interior of the 
country through which you travelled ? " " Oh ! 
the country is very superb, it only wants inha- 
bitants." " What do you think of our botanic 
garden; we hope to make something of it?" 
" It will be highly useful, when the indigenous 


plants are scientifically arranged." After a few 
more similar observations, I made my bow, and 
was conducted out by the marquez ; and I have 
transcribed for you, verbatim, what passed; as, 
perhaps, you would wish to know in what 
manner the emperor converses. 

As there were some interesting things in the 
palace, I wished to see the interior ; and before 
we separated, asked the marquez if I might go 
over it; but he gave me to understand it was 
not in order ; and in fact it is not showed to 
strangers, from a feeling that it is not fit to be 
seen. Besides the cabinet of the late empress, 
there are also specimens of the handy work- 
manship of the emperor ; he, like his great 
namesake of Russia, is a good mechanic; and 
these memorials will hereafter be preserved and 
exhibited in a national museum to posterity, as 
the remains of this second Peter, and founder 
of a great empire in the new, as the other was 
in the old world. While yet a child, an ivory 
ship was presented to him by Colonel Cunning- 
ham, a gift from Sir Sidney Smith. It had 
been broken in the carriage, and required some 
ingenuity to put it again together. He called 
for his box of tools, and soon repaired it in all 
its parts, with the skill of a shipwright, and the 
dexterity of a carpenter. His apartment is a 


workshop, in which is a lathe and a bench, and 
here he has constructed sundry articles. Over 
the lathe is a tablet on the ceiling, I believe of 
his own device and execution. It represents a 
telescope, an ear trumpet, and a padlock, im- 
plying by these emblems that all who enter the 
palace, should see, hear, and say nothing. Had 
I been shown this device, I should perhaps have 
held myself bound, not to transgress it, even by 
the foregoing communication. 

The emperor's habits are very active and very 
temperate. He rises every morning before day, 
and, not sleeping himself, is not disposed to let 
others sleep. He usually begins, therefore, with 
discharging his fowling-piece about the palace, 
till all the family are up. He breakfasts at seven 
o'clock, and continues engaged in business, or 
amusement, till twelve, when he again goes to 
bed and remains till half-past one ; he then rises 
and dresses for dinner. The Brazilians, as far 
as I have observed, are neat and cleanly in their 
persons ; and the emperor is eminently so. He 
is never seen in soiled linen or dirty clothes. He 
dines with his family at two, makes a temperate 
meal, and seldom exceeds a glass of wine, and 
then amuses himself with his children, of whose 
society he is very fond. He is a strict and 
severe, but an affectionate father, and they at 


once love and fear him. I heard Baron Ma- 
rechal, the Austrian minister, say, he one day 
paid him a visit : he met no person at the door 
to introduce him ; so availing himself of his in- 
timacy, he entered without being announced. 
He found the emperor in an inner room, play- 
ing with his children with his coat off, entering 
with great interest into all their amusements, and 
like another Henry IV. was not ashamed to be 
found by a foreign ambassador so employed. At 
nine he retires to bed. 

His education was early neglected, and he has 
never redeemed the lost time. He still, how- 
ever, retains some classical recollections, and 
occasionally takes up a Latin book, particularly 
the breviary, which he reads generally in that 
language. He wished to acquire a knowledge 
of English, and to that end he commenced, along 
with his children, a course of reading with the 
Rev. Mr. Tilbury, an Englishman, who has taken 
orders in the Catholic church, and to whose 
courtesy and information on several subjects, I 
am very much indebted. After having made 
some progress, he laid it aside and began to 
learn French, in which he sometimes converses. 
He has an English groom, from whom also he 
unfortunately learned some English. This fel- 
low, I am informed, is greatly addicted to swearing 


and indecent language, and the emperor, and 
even the late empress, adopted some of his 
phraseology, without being aware of its import. 
In his domestic expenses he is exceedingly 
frugal. The careless profusion of his father, 
and the total derangement of the finances, had 
involved the country in such difficulties, that 
he found it necessary to set an example of 
frugality in his own person, by limiting himself 
to a certain expenditure. In his speech to the 
constituent assembly, he announced this deter- 
mination. " The king's disbursement," said he, 
" amounted to four millions ; mine does not 
exceed one. I am resolved to live as a private 
gentleman, receiving only 110,000 milreisfor my 
private expenses, except the allowance to which 
my wife is entitled by her marriage contract." 
This, at the rate of exchange before we left 
Rio, would not have amounted to more than 
10,000/. per annum. His present allowance, 
as fixed by the chambers, is 200,000 milreis 
for himself, and 12,000 for his children.* To 
make this answer, he engages in various pro- 
fitable pursuits, and adopts, in every thing, the 
most rigid system of economy. He lets out 
his fazenda at Santa Cruz, for grazing cattle 

* See Appendix, No. VI. 


passing to Rio from the Minas Geraes, and 
receives so much a-head from the drovers. His 
slaves cut capim, and sell it, on his account, 
in the streets, where they were pointed out 
to me, distinguished by plates on their caps. 
He derives, also, a revenue, I am told, from seve- 
ral caxas shops, of which he is the proprietor, 
and thinks, like Vespatian, that the money is 
not at all affected by the medium through which 
it passes. In his domestic expenses, he is rigid 
even to parsimony. He allows a very small 
sum to his cook, of the expenditure of which he 
exacts a minute account, and is very angry if 
this trifling sum is exceeded on any occasion ; 
and it is said, that this was one cause of his 
disagreement with the late empress, whose free 
and careless bounty he never could restrain. 

His natural abilities, however, seem to be 
very considerable. Left, at a very early and in- 
experienced age, entirely to himself, in a region 
where every state around him was revolutionized 
into republics, and the same spirit rapidly ad- 
vancing through his own, he, with great saga- 
city, saw the line of conduct left him to adopt, 
and, with equal dexterity, pursued it. He 
could not hope to resist the public sentiment, 
but by appearing to lead, he has hitherto con- 
trived effectually to guide it ; and by these 


means he has established a free constitution in 
Brazil, without any violent transition, and pre- 
served it from the anarchy and confusion, that 
still convulse every other state in South Ame- 
rica. It is said, however, that he has conjured 
up a spirit of democracy, which it is his 
anxious wish entirely to lay, and that he is 
essentially despotic in his principles ; that 
his apparent design to establish constitutional 
freedom, was merely a bait to catch popularity ; 
and having, as he supposes, guided the enthu- 
siasm of the people till it has harmlessly ex- 
ploded, and established himself firmly on the 
throne, he is now determined to reign by him- 
self, and dispense altogether with troublesome 
popular assemblies, which he has already twice 
forcibly suppressed. 

But those who know Brazil well, think such 
a thing most absurd to attempt, and impossible 
to achieve. The people are not Portuguese, 
and there is no party in the country who are 
disposed to imitate their political conduct. The 
Brazilians are essentially Americans, and have 
deeply imbibed the opinions of all the American 
states ; too intelligent not to be well acquainted 
with their rights, and too powerful to surrender 
them ; and I have heard the best informed persons 
say, that if once they were convinced that there 


was no alternative between despotism and demo- 
cracy, they would not, for a moment, hesitate to 
choose the latter. The emperor, whatever his 
inherent propensities may be, is too prudent 
and sagacious not to see this. The country, 
with all its impediments, has proceeded, under 
the present system, in a career of unexampled 
prosperity, and neither the emperor nor the 
people will be so unwise as to wish to change it. 
When revolutionary principles began first to 
show themselves in South America, they were 
every where spread through the medium of 
secret societies, who either were, or professed 
to be, Freemasons. In the year 1818, an alvara 
was issued in Brazil, by which every person 
convicted of the act of belonging to any secret 
society, should be punished as if found guilty 
of high treason ; the house in which the 
society met, be confiscated; and every person 
in whose possession were found medals, em- 
blems, catechisms, or any symbols connected 
with them, be exiled to a fortress, and con- 
fined from four to ten years. In October, 
1823, the constituent assembly repealed this 
law, all processes pending under it were sus- 
pended and abolished, as if they had never 
existed, and from that date secret societies were 
permitted, provided their object was communi- 


cated to government, and found to contain 
nothing hostile to morals, religion, or the con- 
stitutional system ; all others were deemed 
seditious conventicles, and those convicted of 
taking the oath, or acting under it, made liable 
to the penalty of loss of life, or banishment 
to a fortress. Immediately on passing this law, 
the emperor himself became grand master of 
all the masonic lodges in the country, which 
were then revived with great ceremony. On 
one occasion a lodge, of which the present 
minister of the interior was president, pre- 
sented to him a petition on the subject of the 
cortes, which was printed at the time, and 
widely circulated : it concluded with the follow- 
ing laconic and familiar question to him as a 
brother mason, " Pedro veja se queres, ou nao 
queres ? — Will you, Peter, or will you not ?" 
In a short time after, the lodges were again 
closed by his order ; and to reconcile the masons 
to this proceeding, he substituted in their place 
the societies called apostolados, and invited 
the people to become members. The end pro- 
posed by these latter was also defeated, by 
admitting the person who had formed the sup- 
pressed assemblies; and after languishing for 
twelve months, they also ceased to meet, though 
they are still permitted to exist. 



In the various changes and convulsions which 
the country has undergone, it had been the 
custom to discuss all political questions in the 
masonic and apostolado lodges, previous to their 
discussion in the public assemblies, and their 
decisions were generally adopted ; they were, 
therefore, the jacobin clubs of Brazil, and at- 
tended with similar influence. 

The emperor's dislike to secret societies is now 
so great, that he will not sanction the formation 
of any society, however legitimate and laudable 
its avowed object. They have begun to establish 
public libraries in several provincial towns, and 
they propose to annex to them literary or scien- 
tific institutions, as the most likely means of 
rendering more extensively useful, the know- 
ledge contained in the books they collect. The 
very respectable ouvidor of St. Joao d'el Rey, 
as I have before stated, drew up a plan for a 
sociedade philopolytechnica in that town, to be 
connected with the library, and that no legal 
form might be omitted, he sent the prospectus 
to the emperor for his approbation, not doubting 
that it would immediately be sent back. The 
permission was never given, and when I left the 
country, the formation of that, and similar lite- 
rary institutions, was suspended. From this, and 
other acts of the same kind, I have heard people 


affirm that the emperor's present hostility to 
societies, which he once affected to patronize, 
and of which he was himself even a leading 
member, does not arise so much from his ap- 
prehension of their spreading republicanism, as 
of their diffusing knowledge, which he equally 
dreads, in the country. 

But the circumstance, perhaps, which has 
caused his popularity to decline more than any 
other, is his open contempt for public opinion 
on certain moral duties. There are no people 
whom I have met with, who form a more just 
appreciation of character in this respect, than 
the Brazilians ; and as the blameless and irre- 
proachable conduct of the late empress was the 
theme of their highest praise, so the cause of 
her domestic unhappiness was an object of their 
deepest sympathy and reprobation. Over such 
a people, the influence of character is not to 
be despised with impunity ; and he who governs 
them should be cautious to establish it. Under 
this impression, the emperor was very anxious 
to enter into another matrimonial engagement, 
with an European princess, and redeem that 
estimation in the minds of his subjects which he 
had neglected. It was reported in Brazil that 
he had not succeeded in this object, and had 
therefore intended to elevate another person to 

h h 2 


the throne ; but the deep mortification and dis- 
may with which this suspicion was communi- 
cated to me by several, was a proof how seriously 
it was considered by the people, and how much 
moral influence would have been sacrificed by 
such a disregard to public opinion. Happily, 
however, such fears were groundless ; the negoti- 
ation has succeeded ; and a princess of the house 
of Bavaria, as good and amiable, it is said, as 
her predecessor, is about to add dignity and 
respect to the throne of Brazil, and to afford 
another bright example of moral conduct to 
the people. 

As the time of our departure was now arrived, 
the North Star, Captain Arabin, was appointed 
to take us home ; and, on the 4th of May, 
1829, we took leave of our good friends, and 
embarked at night at Bota Fogo bay. Before 
light in the morning the anchor was weighed, 
and we stood out of the harbour with a heavy 
sea and wet weather. 

The North Star had been three years on 
the coast of Africa, and she was stowed with 
all manner of African produce ; between decks 
was a perfect menagery, with different kinds 
of monkeys, parrots, and paroquets, which every 
one was bringing home to his friends ; and 
I was awoke in the morning by such a con- 


cert of chattering and screaming, as made 
me think myself in Exeter 'Change, on a visit 
to Pidcock. But besides these larger animals, 
the ship swarmed with others that were not 
so agreeable. Myriads of ants, of a smaller 
size, but of a tougher consistence, and much 
harder to be killed than those at Rio, abounded 
in every direction, and devoured every animal 
and vegetable substance they could come at ; 
they appeared to have destroyed all the fleas 
and bugs, but they then occupied their places, 
taking possession of our beds, and giving us 
no rest at night. Next came the cock-roaches, 
of a size almost incredible. When I first saw 
them flying across my cabin, I thought they 
were some small African birds ; for they moved 
with a force, and evinced a strength and activity, 
altogether superior to what I could imagine 
of any of the insect tribe. They formed a 
nidus in every cavity ; and whenever a fold 
of cloth or linen was opened, it was covered 
with their eggs or progeny in different stages. 
Another, and much more serious annoyance, 
were centipedes. These venomous creatures, 
sometimes four or five inches long, took refuge 
behind every projection that afforded them a 
retreat; and whenever a box, or even a book, 
was removed in my cabin, one or more of these 


monsters was seen gliding along, with his 
multitude of feet, and threatening every one 
that approached him with his venomous 

To encounter these plagues, Captain Arabin 
told me of a very singular device he had adopted. 
There is on the coast of Africa a very large 
and ravenous spider, resembling a tarantula, 
which feeds on all other insects, particularly 
the cock-roach ; and ships sometimes encourage 
them on board to prey upon the other insects, 
as cats are taken to destroy rats and mice. 
With this view, he said, he had actually taken 
six on board, and found them of considerable 
service. I had no mode of judging how far 
the other insects had comparatively lessened, 
but certainly these spider-cats had enormously 
increased. In every angle of the timbers, in 
my cabin, a huge one had taken up his abode, 
his body nearly as large as a walnut, and his 
legs radiating from it in a circumference of 
seven or eight inches. They were not fur- 
nished with papulae, and formed no webs. I 
adopted what I thought a more effectual method 
of abating the nuisance. I procured a bottle 
of rum, which I directed my servant to hang 
up in the cabin, and immerse in it every crawl- 
ing thing he could catch ; in a very short time 



he filled it with all manner of mishapen and 
hideous objects. 

Another effect of an African climate was 
that produced on the biscuit. It was taken 
on board at Sierra Leone, and in the passage 
to Rio, the larvse in the flour had generated 
living insects, which burrowed in the bread, 
and filled it with curculios and different ani- 
malculae; it was literally "instinct with life;" 
so that, when a piece of it was laid on the 
table, it began to move by its own internal 
living machinery. It was necessary to con- 
sume this on board, before fresh could be served 
out ; but the providence of the captain had laid 
in a stock of flour at Rio, and we had fresh 
bread baked every day. 

As there was no chaplain on board, I cheer- 
fully undertook that duty, and the more so, 
as I imagined my services would be the more 
necessary, from the number of sick persons 
naturally expected in a ship, returning directly 
from a long sojourn on a pestiferous coast. I 
was, however, agreeably surprised to find it 
otherwise. The crew were remarkably healthy, 
with the exception of one or two, who were 
fast recovering, and every precaution was taken 
to keep them so. The most rigid cleanli- 
ness was adopted, the lower deck was kept 


constantly dry and sweet, with a fine absorbent 
sandy powder. Every morning the main and 
upper decks were washed, and once a week 
scoured with sand-stones. 

When we were about a fortnight at sea, we 
found ourselves approaching the spot where 
pirates abound, many of whom had recently 
committed most atrocious depredations. Their 
known practice is as follows. They set out 
generally from the Havannah, to hover about 
the coast of Africa; and if they conveniently 
can barter for and embark a cargo of slaves, 
they proceed directly for the island of Cuba. 
If they are not successful in this speculation, 
or if an opportunity for piracy present itself, 
in any part of their voyage, they seize the first 
ship they meet with, preferring one already 
laden with slaves. Having taken possession of 
the vessel, they murder, or, sometimes, in rare 
cases, put on shore, in some desert place, the 
white men found on board, and then proceed 
with the vessel and cargo to Cuba, where they 
land the slaves surreptitiously on the back of 
the island, and then enter the Havannah openly 
in ballast. This occurred in the case of a prize- 
crew of English put on board a captured slaver, 
who were murdered by these pirates in a ship 
called the Pelican. 


The island of Cuba seems now the refugium 
peccatorum for every ruffian, and the spirit and 
practice of the buccaneers revived there at the 
present day. Like Algiers, and the piratical 
states of Barbary, it has become the opprobrium 
of the commercial and civilized world, and 
requires the same exertion of a strong hand 
to put it down. It seems also to be the great 
inlet for slaves, and the incentive to continue 
the traffic, and this without any of those pre- 
texts which the Brazilians yet can plead. In 
the treaty made with Spain, by the British 
government, on the 22d of September, 1817, 
the very first article is, " That the slave trade 
shall be abolished through the entire dominions 
of Spain, on the 30th of May, 1820, and that 
after that period it shall not be lawful for any 
subjects of the crown of Spain to purchase 
slaves, or to carry on the slave trade on the 
coast of Africa, on any pretext whatever." To 
reconcile the speculators to the change, the sum 
of 400,000/. was actually paid by Great Britain, 
on the 20th of February, 1818, to the Spaniards, 
as a full compensation for the losses consequent 
on the abolition. Notwithstanding this, 20,000 
slaves, it is calculated, are annually brought to 
Cuba, from the Gallinas and the river Bonny, on 
the coast of Africa, by these pirates and slavers. 


Captain Arabin had met, while on the coast, 
one of these atrocious vessels. She was a 
ship of war from the Havannah, commanded 
by a Spaniard of the name of Joze Antonio de 
la Bega. She was called the Veloz Passageiro, 
mounted twenty-four long guns, and was manned 
by 161 desperate fellows, of all nations. She 
was about 400 Spanish, equal to 680 English 
tons, capable of carrying 1200 slaves, and had a 
tender in company for stowing 400 more. Cap- 
tain Arabin could find no pretext to interfere 
with the captain on the coast of Africa, as he 
had no positive evidence that he was come on a 
slaving expedition ; but he had received certain 
information, that he would sail for the Havannah 
on the 1st of May, with his own ship and his 
consort full of slaves, and so cross our course 
near the equator, about this time. We had 
been, therefore, for some days looking out for 
him, and, as it was supposed, he would make 
a desperate resistance, preparations were made 
for his reception. 

The North Star was inferior in size, force, 
and complement of men, carrying only twenty- 
six short carronades, with two long guns, being 
only 500 tons burden, and having a complement 
of 160 men. Moreover, the masts were of a 
new and untried timber ; the mizen sprung, the 


foremast decayed at the cap, the foretopsail-yard 
fished, and the rigging rotten ; so that she was 
every way inferior in force and firmness to the 
armed slaver. Yet Captain Arabin was deter- 
mined to board if they met, as well from a 
sense of duty, as because the crew would be 
allowed 10/. a-head on all recaptured slaves; 
and in case of success in this instance, would 
share 16,000/. prize-money, an inducement which 
government most judiciously add to other incen- 
tives, in this great cause of humanity. The 
crew, therefore, were exercised at the carro- 
nades every day ; and as it was determined to 
run her aboard, the stoutest and most active 
young men, armed with cutlasses, were daily 
practised for that service, while the marines 
and boys with muskets, were ready to cover 
the attempt. 

On Friday, May 22, being in lat. 4° 43' 8" 
and long. 26° 23' W. we were talking of this 
pirate at breakfast, and the probability of meet- 
ing her in this place, when, in the midst of our 
conversation, a midshipman entered the cabin, 
and said in a hurried manner that a sail was 
visible to the N. W. on the larboard quarter. 
We immediately all rushed on deck, glasses 
were called for and set, and we distinctly saw 
a large ship of three masts, apparently crossing 


our course. Various conjectures were now 
made as to who or what she was, but in a little 
time the trim and look of the vessel decided us 
that she was a foreigner ; and it was the general 
opinion that she was either a large slaver or a 
pirate, or probably both, and Captain Arabin 
was strongly inclined to believe it was his friend 
the Spaniard, from the coast of Africa, for 
whom we had been looking out, or another of 
the same kind, cruising on the look-out for our 
East and West Indian trade, which are gene- 
rally crossed by pirates in this latitude. The 
stranger now hauled her wind, changed her 
course, and seemed to bear directly down upon 
us. We clapped on studding and every other 
sail the ship could bear, and stood towards her ; 
and as we were nearing every moment, there 
was a probability we should soon meet. 

After about an hour standing towards us, 
she tacked, as if not liking our appearance, 
and alarmed at our approach, and stood away 
directly before the wind. We crowded all sail in 
chase. The breeze freshened, and at four bells 
we had neared so much that we had a distinct 
view of her hull, and we now were certain she 
was a slaver, and also perhaps a pirate, and that 
she had at least five or six hundred slaves on 
board. This opinion was formed on that saga- 


city that a long experience on the coast of 
Africa, and a familiar acquaintance with such 
vessels had imparted. We were, therefore, all 
on the alert, exulting in the prospect of libe- 
rating so many fellow-creatures, and bartering 
and bargaining for our share of the ransom- 
money, for it seemed almost certain that she 
could not escape us. She resembled, however, 
a fox doubling in all directions, and every 
moment seeming to change her course to avoid 

The captain now ordered a gun to be fired 
to leeward, and the English union flag to be 
hoisted ; we had the wind right aft, and were 
running right down upon her, distant about 
four miles. She took no notice of our gun and 
flag, and another was fired with as little effect. 
Orders were then given that one of the long 
guns at the bows should be shotted and sent 
after her. We all crowded to the forecastle to 
witness the effect. The ball went ricochetting 
along the waves, and fell short of her stern ; in 
a little time afterwards she hoisted a flag, which 
we perceived was Brazilian. Two shot more 
were sent after her with as little effect, and the 
wind again dying away, our coming up with her 
before dark seemed very doubtful. To increase 
the way of the ship, the long guns of the bows 


were brought midships, but without effect ; we 
were evidently dropping astern. We kept a 
sharp look-out with intense interest, leaning 
over the netting, and silently handing the glass 
to one another, as if a word spoken would im- 
pede our way. At length the shades of evening 
closed on us, and we applied night-glasses. For 
some time we kept her in view on the horizon, 
but about eight o'clock she totally disap- 

All night we were pointing our glasses in the 
direction in which she lay, and caught occasional 
glimpses of her, and when morning dawned, we 
saw her like a speck on the horizon, standing 
due north. We followed in the same trafck, 
the breeze soon increased our way to eight 
knots, and we had the pleasure to find we were 
every moment gaining on her. We again sent 
long shot after her, but she only crowded the 
more sail to escape ; and we observed her sling- 
ing her yards, that is, hanging them with addi- 
tional cords, that they might be supported if the 
proper lifts were shot away. 

We could now discern her whole equipment ; 
her gun streak was distinctly seen along the 
water, with eight ports of a side ; and it was 
the general opinion that she was a French 
pirate and slaver, notorious for her depredations. 



At twelve o'clock, we were entirely within gun- 
shot, and one of our long bow-guns was again 
fired at her. It struck the water alongside, 
and then, for the first time, she showed a dis- 
position to stop. While we were preparing a 
second, she hove-to, and in a short time we 
were alongside her, after a most interesting 
chase of thirty hours, during which we ran 
300 miles. 

The first object that struck us, was an enor- 
mous gun, turning on a swivel, on deck, the 
constant appendage of a pirate ; and the next, 
were large kettles for cooking, on the bows, 
the usual apparatus of a slaver. Our boat 
was now hoisted out, and I w r ent on board with 
the officers. When we mounted her decks, we 
found her full of slaves. She was called the 
Veloz, commanded by Captain Jose Barbosa, 
bound to Bahia. She was a very broad-decked 
ship, with a mainmast, schooner-rigged, and be- 
hind her foremast was that large formidable gun, 
which turned on a broad circle of iron, on deck, 
and which enabled her to act as a pirate, if her 
slaving speculation had failed. She had taken 
in, on the coast of Africa, 336 males, and 226 
females, making in all 562, and had been out 
seventeen days, during which she had thrown 
overboard fifty-five. The slaves were all en- 


closed under grated hatchways, between decks. 
The space was so low, that they sat between 
each other's legs, and stowed so close together, 
that there was no possibility of their lying down, 
or at all changing their position, by night or 
day. As they belonged to, and were shipped 
on account of different individuals, they were all 
branded, like sheep, with the owners' marks of dif- 
ferent forms, /j^^-ff, or "SJ[, or wj^« These 
were impressed under their breasts, or on their 
arms, and, as the mate informed me, with per- 
fect indifference, " queimados pelo ferro quento — 
burnt with the red-hot iron." Over the hatch- 
way stood a ferocious looking fellow, with a 
scourge of many twisted thongs in his hand, who 
was the slave-driver of the ship, and whenever he 
heard the slightest noise below, he shook it over 
them, and seemed eager to exercise it. I was 
quite pleased to take this hateful badge out of 
his hand, and I have kept it ever since, as a 
horrid memorial of reality, should I ever be dis- 
posed to forget the scene I witnessed. 

As soon as the poor creatures saw us looking 
down at them, their dark and melancholy visages 
brightened up. They perceived something of 
sympathy and kindness in our looks, which they 
had not been accustomed to, and feeling in- 
stinctively that we were friends, they imme- 


diately began to shout and clap their hands. 
One or two had picked up a few Portuguese 
words, and cried out " Viva ! viva !" The 
women were particularly excited. They all held 
up their arms, and when we bent down and 
shook hands with them, they could not contain 
their delight ; they endeavoured to scramble 
upon their knees, stretching up to kiss our hands, 
and we understood that they knew we were 
come to liberate them. Some, however, hung 
down their heads in apparently hopeless de- 
jection; some were greatly emaciated, and some, 
particularly children, seemed dying. 

But the circumstance which struck us most 
forcibly, was, how it was possible for such a 
number of human beings to exist, packed up 
and wedged together as tight as they could 
cram, in low cells, three feet high, the greater 
part of which, except that immediately under 
the grated hatchways, was shut out from light 
or air, and this when the thermometer, exposed 
to the open sky, was standing in the shade, on 
our deck, at 89°. The space between decks 
was divided into two compartments, 3 feet 3 
inches high; the size of one was 16 feet by 18, 
and of the other 40 by 21 ; into the first were 
crammed the women and girls ; into the second, 
the men and boys : 226 fellow-creatures were 

VOL. II. 1 1 


thus thrust into one space 288 feet square ; and 
336 into another space 800 feet square, giving 
to the whole an average of 23 inches, and to 
each of the women not more than 13 inches, 
though many of them were pregnant. We also 
found manacles and fetters of different kinds, 
but it appears that they had all been taken off 
before we boarded. 

The heat of these horrid places was so great, 
and the odour so offensive, that it was quite im- 
possible to enter them, even had there been room. 
They were measured as above when the slaves 
had left them. The officers insisted that the poor 
suffering creatures should be admitted on deck 
to get air and water. This was opposed by the 
mate of the slaver, who, from a feeling that they 
deserved it, declared they would murder them 
all. The officers, however, persisted, and the 
poor beings were all turned up together. It 
is impossible to conceive the effect of this erup- 
tion — 517 fellow-creatures of all ages and sexes, 
some children, some adults, some old men and 
women, all in a state of total nudity, scrambling 
out together to taste the luxury of a little fresh 
air and water. They came swarming up, like 
bees from the aperture of a hive, till the whole 
deck was crowded to suffocation, from stem 
to stern ; so that it was impossible to imagine 


where they could all have come from, or how 
they could have been stowed away. On looking 
into the places where they had been crammed, 
there were found some children next the sides 
of the ship, in the places most remote from 
light and air ; they were lying nearly in a torpid 
state, after the rest had turned out. The little 
creatures seemed indifferent as to life or death, 
and when they were carried on deck, many of 
them could not stand. 

After enjoying for a short time the unusual 
luxury of air, some water was brought ; it was 
then that the extent of their sufferings was ex- 
posed in a fearful manner. They all rushed 
like maniacs towards it. No entreaties, or 
threats, or blows, could restrain them ; they 
shrieked, and struggled, and fought with one 
another, for a drop of this precious liquid, as if 
they grew rabid at the sight of it. There is 
nothing which slaves, in the mid-passage, suffer 
from so much as want of water. It is sometimes 
usual to take out casks filled with sea water, as 
ballast, and when the slaves are received on 
board, to start the casks, and refill them with 
fresh. On one occasion, a ship from Bahia 
neglected to change the contents of the casks, 
and on the mid-passage found, to their horror, 
that they were filled with nothing but salt water. 



All the slaves on board perished! We could 
judge of the extent of their sufferings from the 
afflicting sight we now saw. When the poor 
creatures were ordered down again, several of 
them came, and pressed their heads against our 
knees, with looks of the greatest anguish, at 
the prospect of returning to the horrid place of 
suffering below. 

It was not surprising that they should 
have endured much sickness and loss of life, 
in their short passage. They had sailed from 
the coast of Africa on the 7th of May, and 
had been out but seventeen days, and they 
had thrown overboard no less than fifty-five, 
who had died of dysentery and other com- 
plaints, in that space of time, though they had 
left the coast in good health. Indeed, many 
of the survivors were seen lying about the decks 
in the last stage of emaciation, and in a state of 
filth and misery not to be looked at. Even- 
handed justice had visited the effects of this 
unholy traffic, on the crew who were engaged 
in it. Eight or nine had died, and at that mo- 
ment six were in hammocks on board, in dif- 
ferent stages of fever. This mortality did not 
arise from want of medicine. There was a large 
stock ostentatiously displayed in the cabin, with 
a manuscript book, containing directions as to 


the quantities; but the only medical man on 
board to prescribe it was a black, who was as 
ignorant as his patients. 

While expressing my horror at what I saw, 
and exclaiming against the state of this vessel 
for conveying human beings, I was informed by 
my friends, who had passed so long a time on 
the coast of Africa, and visited so many ships, 
that this was one of the best they had seen. 
The height, sometimes, between decks, was 
only eighteen inches ; so that the unfortu- 
nate beings could not turn round, or even on 
their sides, the elevation being less than the 
breadth of their shoulders : and here they are 
usually chained to the decks, by the neck and 
legs. In such a place, the sense of misery and 
suffocation is so great, that the negroes, like 
the English in the black-hole at Calcutta, are 
driven to frenzy. They had, on one occa- 
sion, taken a slave vessel in the river Bonny : 
the slaves were stowed in the narrow space 
between decks, and chained together. They 
heard a horrid din and tumult among them, and 
could not imagine from what cause it proceeded. 
They opened the hatches, and turned them up 
on deck. They were manacled together, in 
twos and threes. Their horror may be well 
conceived, when they found a number of them 


in different stages of suffocation ; many of them 
were foaming at the mouth, and in the last 
agonies — many were dead. A living man was 
sometimes dragged up, and his companion was 
a dead body ; sometimes, of the three attached 
to" the same chain, one was dying, and another 
dead. The tumult they had heard, was the 
frenzy of those suffocating wretches in the last 
stage of fury and desperation, struggling to 
extricate themselves. When they were all 
dragged up, nineteen were irrecoverably dead. 
Many destroyed one another, in the hopes of 
procuring room to breathe ; men strangled those 
next them, and women drove nails into each 
other's brains. Many unfortunate creatures, 
on other occasions, took the first opportunity 
of leaping overboard, and getting rid, in this 
way, of an intolerable life. 

They often found the poor negroes im- 
pressed with the strongest terror at their de- 
liverers. The slave dealers persuaded them 
that the English were cannibals, who only took 
them to eat them. When undeceived, their joy 
and gratitude were proportionately great. Some- 
times, a mortal malady had struck them before 
they were captured, from which they never could 
recover. They used to lie down in the water 
of the lee scuppers, and notwithstanding every 


care, pined away to skin and bone, wasted with 
fever and dysentery ; and, when at length they 
were consigned to the deep, they were mere 
skeletons. Unlike other impressions, habit had 
not rendered these things familiar, or hardened 
the hearts of my companions. On the contrary, 
the scenes they had witnessed made them only 
more susceptible of pity on the present occa- 
sion; and the sympathy and kindness they now 
showed these poor slaves, did credit to the 
goodness of their hearts. 

When I returned on board the frigate, I found 
the captain of the slaver pacing the deck in 
great agitation ; sometimes clasping his hands, 
and occasionally requesting a drink of water ; and 
when asked whether he would have any other 
refrehment, he replied, turning his head and 
twisting his mouth, with an expression of intense 
annoyance, " nada, nada — nothing, nothing." 
Meantime, his papers were rigidly examined, to 
ascertain if they bore out his story. He said 
that he was a Brazilian, from Bahia, and that 
his traffic was strictly confined to the south of 
the line, where, by treaty, it was yet lawful; 
that he made Bengo bay, on the coast of An- 
gola, nine degrees south of the line, traded along 
that coast, and took in all his slaves at Cabinda, 
and was returning directly home ; that his ship 


had only received on board the number allowed by 
law, which directs that five slaves may be taken in 
for every two tons ; and that his complement was 
under that allowance. All this, his chart and 
log corresponded with. As the tale, however, 
could be easily fabricated, and papers were 
written to correspond, a strict scrutiny was 
made into other circumstances. Some of the 
poor slaves said they came from Badagry, a 
place in six degrees north latitude. Two of 
the crew, whose persons were recognized by 
some of our people, confessed they were left at 
Whida, by another ship, where they had been 
seen ; and above all, the slave captain had 
endeavoured to escape by every means in his 
power, as conscious of his guilt ; and it was not 
till after a persevering chase of 300 miles 
that he was at length taken, and that too, sail- 
ing in a northerly direction, when his course 
to Bahia would have been south-west. He 
said, in reply, that the slaves might have been 
originally from Badagry, and sent, as is usual, 
to Cabinda, where he bought them ; that the 
two men entered at Cabinda, to which they had 
been brought in a Spanish ship from Whida; 
and finally, that he did not bring-to when re- 
quired, because he imagined the North Star to be 
one of the large pirates which infest these seas, 


whom he endeavoured to escape from by every 
means in his power ; and in fact in his log, our 
ship was designated " hum briganda." All this 
was plausible, and might be true. 

The instructions sent to king's ships as to the 
manner of executing the treaty of Brazil, are 
very ambiguous. They state in one place that 
" no slave ship is to be stopped to the south 
of the line, on any pretext whatever." Yet in 
another, a certain latitude is allowed, if there 
is reason to suspect that the slaves on board 
" were taken in, to the north." By the first, the 
ship could not be detained at all, and it was 
doubtful if there was just reason for the second. 
Even if there were the strongest grounds for 
capturing and sending her to Sierra Leone for 
adjudication, where the nearest mixed commis- 
sion sat, a circumstance of very serious difficulty 
occurred. It would take three weeks, perhaps 
a month or more, to beat up to windward to 
this place, and the slaves had not water for 
more than half that time, and we could not 
supply her. A number had already died, and 
we saw the state of frenzy to which the sur- 
vivors were almost driven, from the want of 
this element. On a former occasion, a prize of 
the North Star, sent to Sierra Leone, had lost 
more than 1 00, out of a very small complement, 


while beating up the coast, notwithstanding 
every care ; and it seemed highly probable that 
in this case but few could survive. Under these 
doubtful circumstances, then, it appeared more 
legal and even more humane to suffer them to 
proceed on their course to Bahia, where it is 
probable, after all, the remnant left alive would 
be finally sent, after an investigation by the com- 
missioners, as having been taken in, within 
the limits of legal traffic. It w T as with infinite 
regret, therefore, we were obliged to restore his 
papers to the captain, and permit him to pro- 
ceed, after nine hours' detention and close inves- 
tigation. It was dark when we separated, and 
the last parting sounds we heard from the unhal- 
lowed ship, were the cries and shrieks of the 
slaves, suffering under some bodily infliction. 

It should appear, then, that notwithstand- 
ing the benevolent and persevering exertions of 
England, this horrid traffic in human flesh is 
nearly as extensively carried on as ever, and 
under circumstances, perhaps, of a more re- 
volting character. The very shifts at evasion, 
the necessity for concealment, and the des- 
perate hazard, cause inconvenience and suffer- 
ings to the poor creatures in a very aggravated 
degree. The restriction of slaving to the south 
of the line was in fact nugatory, and evaded on 


all occasions. The number of slaves recaptured 
and liberated by our cruisers, appears a large 
amount ; and certainly, as far as it goes, has 
rendered most important services to humanity. 
Captain Arabin was on the station three years ; 
and from August, 1826, to May, 1829, visited 
vessels, having on board 3894 slaves ; of these, 
nine bearing the Brazilian flag, three the Spa- 
nish, one the Portuguese, and one the French 
and Dutch, in all fourteen, containing 2465 
slaves, were detained, and sent to Sierra Leone 
for adjudication. The whole number captured by 
all our cruisers, and afterwards emancipated, for 
nine years, from June, 1819 to July, 1828, was 
13,281,* being about 1400, on an average, each 
year. During that period, it is supposed that 
nearly 100,000 human beings were annually 
transported as slaves from different parts of the 
coast, of which, more than 43,000 were in one 
year legally imported into one city alone. It 
is deeply to be regretted, therefore, that the 
proportion of the good to the evil is so small. 
On the 23d of March, 1830, however, the 
permission to Brazil will expire ; the whole of 
this ransacked and harassed coast will then be 
protected, and every slaver on any part of it, 
will be seized and treated as a pirate. 

* See Parliamentary Reports. 


Two difficulties, however, will yet remain, 
which ought to be removed for the final and 
effectual prevention of this traffic. By treaties 
with Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and 
Brazil, mutual right of search is allowed to 
the cruisers of each nation, and mixed com- 
missions for adjudication reside at Sierra Leone, 
Havannah, Rio de Janeiro, and Surinam ; but 
no right of mutual search exists with France 
or North America, and slaves are continually 
transported with impunity under their flags. 
Surely, if nations are sincere in this great cause 
of God and man, they will no longer suffer the 
little etiquettes of national vanity to oppose it. 

It also happens that the right of capture is 
cunningly evaded by the slavers, as vessels are 
only liable to seizure when they have actually 
slaves on board. Ships frequently enter the 
mouths of rivers, or other parts of the coast, 
having every apparatus on board for the recep- 
tion of slaves, which are collected in the vicinity, 
and ready to embark on the first opportunity. 
This is known to our ships, who often watch 
them for a considerable time, while the 
slaver remains quietly and securely at anchor. 
When from any cause the attention of the 
cruiser is called away, the slaves are all em- 
barked in one night ; and when the cruiser 


resumes his station, the slaver has disappeared 
with her full cargo. The cruiser has little 
chance of overtaking the slaver, even though 
she should be in the immediate neighbourhood. 
The superior class of vessels employed by the 
Spaniards, is so well calculated for escape in 
this way, that our ships of war have no chance 
of overtaking them at sea. To defeat this, an 
additional article in the treaty with the Nether- 
lands provides, that all vessels are to be consi- 
dered as slavers, and treated as such, when they 
have an apparatus evidently intended for the 
reception of slaves, even though none be found 
on board.* 

If therefore, when the whole coast of Africa 
is protected from this commerce, and no vessel 
of any nation is permitted to traffic on any part 
of it, the right of mutual search is acknow- 
ledged, and acted on by all civilized nations, 

* The following is the additional article to the treaty with the Ne- 
therlands in 1818 : " That any vessel hovering on the coast within 
one degree west, and between twenty degrees north and twenty south, 
or at anchor within any bay or creek, and having her hatches fitted 
with gratings instead of being closed like merchants ; having more 
divisions or bulk-head than necessary ; having spare planks to make 
a second deck, having shackles, bolts, or handcuffs ; having a greater 
number of water-casks or of meal-tubs, or two or more copper boilers, 
or an unreasonable quantity of rice or farinha ; — the proof of these 
to be considered prima facie evidence of her actual employment in 
the trade, though she may not have slaves on board, and be sufficient 
to constitute her a lawful prize." 


and every ship found with the damning proofs 
on board be confiscated, and the crews treated 
as pirates, then, and not till then, can we hope 
to see this horrid traffic finally abolished. 

The weather was now becoming very sul- 
try, the thermometer stood at 82°, and the 
air was breathless. We were on the confines 
of the two trades, where the meeting currents 
cause stagnant air, when a disagreeable accident 
occurred, adding another proof of the danger of 
sudden cold immersion, after being excited with 
violent exertion. The midshipmen were en- 
gaged in some very athletic sports on deck, 
and one of them, being excessively warm, went 
into the chains, and had a bucket of cold sea- 
water thrown upon him. He was instantly 
seized with a fit, and fell down in a state of 
insensibility. He was bled with some relief, 
but remained for a long time in a torpid state ; 
and when he slowly recovered, he lost all 
memory of what had happened to him, and 
had not the most distant recollection of the 
exercise, or the bucket of water. There seems 
to be a very serious difference between the 
transition to sudden cold, from the excitement 
produced by a hot bath, and by violent exercise ; 
the one is done every day with impunity, and 
the other is highly dangerous. This was the 


second instance we had known of it since we 
left England; one proved fatal, and the other 
very nearly so. 

Sharks now for the first time began to swim 
round us, and I had an opportunity of correcting 
an opinion I had long entertained, that this fish 
always turns on his back when he seizes his 
prey. One very large, about seven feet long, 
of a brown -buff colour, with the extremities 
and his fins bordered with white, followed just 
under our stern, with the greatest ease and 
familiarity. When a bait was dropped down, 
he sailed up to it on the surface of the water, 
looked up at us, and then took it as kindly and 
gently as if we were feeding a pet ; he never 
changed his swimming position but once, and 
then he inclined his head a little to one side, 
but never showed any disposition to turn on 
his back, as is usually said. He gave an 
extraordinary instance of his muscular strength. 
He at length gorged a hook, made of a bar 
of iron as thick as a quill, and we all pre- 
pared to haul him on deck, and examine 
him. Knowing his powerful force, the boat- 
swain let down a rope to hitch him in a loop, 
and told us to watch if he moved his tail. 
When the loop touched his nose, he made the 
slightest motion with his tail, and snapped the 


thick iron hook across, as if it had been the 
shank of a clay pipe. In the bustle, a hat fell 
into the sea. Though he had the remains of 
one large hook in his maw, and another was 
just torn from his side ; he immediately seized 
it, and went off, and we saw it in his mouth, 
without swallowing it, as one of the sailors said, 
f* like a quid of tobacco in his jaw." 

The crew in general seemed to entertain, and 
very justly, a strong apprehension of meeting 
this voracious fish in the water. There was, 
however, one man on board, who had, on 
various occasions, showed the most extraordi- 
nary intrepidity among sharks ; he was an Irish- 
man, of the name of Burke. He was a careless 
fellow, and had been sent from the Maidstone 
as worthless and incorrigible. Captain Arabin 
discerned something more in his character; 
found him a person of light and frolicsome 
humour, but a good sailor, and, moreover, a 
man of the kindest heart, and the most intrepid 
humanity. This he evinced on the coast of 
Africa, on several occasions. Whenever a man 
fell overboard, Burke leaped after him, and saved 
him before a boat could be lowered. The river 
Bonny was full of the most ravenous sharks. 
On one occasion, a boat's crew were bringing the 
corpse of their captain on shore, to be buried. 


His feet projected over the gunwale, and a 
shark seized them. In trying to save the body, 
the boat upset, and the whole crew were 
devoured by them except one, whom Burke 
saved, by leaping fearlessly into the sea, and 
supporting him till they were taken up by 
another boat. On another occasion, in the 
river of Sierra Leone, where it was full of 
sharks, a sailor fell overboard from the commo- 
dore's ship. None of his own shipmates had 
courage to attempt to save him ; but Burke, who 
saw the man struggling in the water at some dis- 
tance, immediately leaped from the deck of the 
North Star, swam to him through these ferocious 
fish, and supported him till they were both taken 
up by a boat. Commodore Collier, who was look- 
ing on, was affected even to tears at this extra- 
ordinary instance of magnanimous philanthropy, 
and sent him some dollars. Had he lived in 
the days of the ancient Romans, his fellow- 
citizens would have presented him with a rostral* 
or civic crown, and erected a statue to his 
memory. The name of Burke seems destined 
to denote the extremes of evil and good. One 
man who bore it, is stigmatized as a fearful 
destroyer of human life, the other distinguished 
as its most intrepid preserver. 

On the 8th of June we crossed the Tropic of 



Cancer, and fell in with those masses of floating 
weeds* which form so striking a feature in the 
Atlantic. An immense belt of sea, supposed to 
extend from 18 to 30 degrees of north latitude, 
is frequently covered over with a vegetable pro- 
duction, which sometimes appears in long ridges 
with furrows between, and sometimes in de- 
tached insulated portions. In going to Rio we 
met it in the first state, and for two days passed 
through it ; on returning we now saw it in the 
latter, the sea studded over, in all directions, 
with broad floating masses. From this circum- 
stance, this particular part of the Atlantic is 
called by the Spaniards and Portuguese, " Mar 
do sargaco," or " the weedy sea." When it forms 
ridges, it is generally of a dark yellow or light 
brown, more or less in a state of decomposition, 
and looks like bran thrown upon the water ; 
when in masses or detached smaller portions, it 
is more young and perfect. What I had seen 
before was all disorganized, but I had now a 
line thrown out, and having entangled a quantity 
of it, I examined several specimens of it from 
the different patches which floated by. 

It was perfectly fresh and in full and vigour- 
ous vegetation. It consisted of one long fibrous 

* Fucus natans. 


stem, from which smaller lateral ones ramified 
at irregular intervals. These were covered with 
ligulate or strap-shaped leaves, about two inches 
long and one-eighth of an inch broad, irregularly 
serrated, and at the axilla, or angle made by the 
leaves and stem, were small spheroidal pods, 
not quite so large as peas, on short footstalks, 
and generally two together. These pods con- 
tained no seeds, or other substance, and seemed 
merely vesicles filled with air, forming an appa- 
ratus by which the plant floated on the surface, 
like that which nature provides for the utricu- 
laria and others. Several of the vesicles were 
encased in a beautiful reticulated coraline sub- 
stance, which, when the part they covered dried 
and shrunk, retained its orbicular shape in a 
curious manner. Attached to the leaves and 
stems, was a variety of small serpulse and 
other testaceous incrustations, and entangled in 
them were shrimps and a very pretty species of 
small crab, with a bright mottled tortoise shell, 
and vivid green eyes. The shell was quite hard, 
and the animal vigorous and lively, so that it 
seemed to have arrived at its full growth, which 
was not larger than a flat kidney-bean. I care- 
fully examined several tufts, and could not 
discover the trace of any thing like a root, nor 
any fracture in the leading stem, from whence 
k k 2 


it might have been detached, but the whole 
plant seemed to be in the exact and perfect 
state in which it originally grew. When spread 
out, it exhibited the appearance of one principal 
stalk terminated at each end by branches coming 
to a point and forming an irregular ellipse. 

The natural history of this fucus is curious, 
and its origin not yet ascertained. It is called 
the gulf-stream weed, because it is seen carried by 
that extraordinary current, and scattered over 
the Atlantic. The general opinion is, that it 
grows at the bottom of the sea ; that there are 
two great banks covered with it, one to the west 
of the Azores, between 25° and 36°, and the other 
between 22° and 26°, or eighty leagues from the 
Bahamas ; and that these are the fertile submarine 
beds on which this abundant plant originally 
vegetates ; from these it is detached by molluscae 
and fishes feeding on the stems, and cutting 
them across ; or sometimes, and more usually, 
that the violent agitation of the water itself 
disturbs and separates them, and then the air- 
vessels support them to the surface. 

The supposition, however, of these banks is, 
I believe, entirely gratuitous, nor has their ex- 
istence been ever ascertained ; even if it were, it 
is not easy to conceive how the weed at such a 
depth could be disturbed by the agitation of the 


water above. It is known, by the report of 
pearl-divers, that the undulations of the most 
violent storms are not at all perceptible below 
eighty or ninety fathom, and the weed is found 
covering the sea in many places where lines of 
two or three hundred could not reach the 
bottom. But what seems decisive against such 
an hypothesis is, that it is not possible to detect 
any appearance of a fracture or separation of 
the stalk in the greater number, and when it is 
seen it is evidently of some smaller branch, and 
not of the leading stem. It is much more pro- 
bable that it is generated as it floats, and never 
was attached to any root. The whole plant 
seems intended by nature for such a mode of 
existence. The air-vessels are in immense 
abundance, and seem formed for no other pur- 
pose, than as buoys to support it on the surface. 
Several other vegetables are furnished with a 
similar apparatus to bear up their important 
parts of fructification to the atmosphere ; but 
this is the only one, as far as I know, thus 
provided with a mechanism, for the entire sus- 
pension of all its parts.* 

* Francisco de Ulloa mentions the particular mechanism of these 
weeds : — " And for a space of fifty leagues we always found swimming 
on the sea certain flottes of weeds, hearing seed and full of gourds." 


Many vegetable productions, however, re- 
semble it in its wandering state of existence. 
Different kinds of conferva are found in the lakes 
of England, from the size of a walnut to that of 
a melon, floating about loosely from shore to 
shore as the winds propel them, and one curious 
species is still more erratic* 

This vast weedy sea had been a cause of terror 
to ancient navigators, who, when they came on 
its confines, were afraid to penetrate its dense 
mass, lest their ships should be entangled and 
detained by it. It was, however, one of the 
objects of alarm that Columbus was not daunted 
by. He fell in with it 360 leagues west of the 
Canary islands, and did not hesitate to push 
through it. On examining some tufts of it, 
he found the little crab which I have men- 
tioned, and preserved it, it seems, with great 
care, as one of the first discoveries of his 

Among the benefits conferred by this weed, is 
the number of fish to which it affords sustenance. 
We had a tub full of young turtles on deck, 
and they seemed greatly revived by having a 
mess of it every day thrown in to them ; and 
one morning we perceived a large one in the 

* Conferva vagabunda. 


sea, basking in the midst of one of the masses. 
We were lying our course with a steady breeze, 
and could not stop to take him up. 

Our water was now reduced to twenty-six 
days, and all our fresh provisions nearly ex- 
hausted, and it was necessary to touch at the 
Azores to take in a supply, so that we were 
daily looking out for them. The gulf weed 
had now entirely disappeared, but its place was 
supplied by a floating substance, altogether as 
extraordinary. On the evening of June 16, 
in lat. 35°. 44'. N., long. 33°. 1'. W., shoals of 
mollusca,* consisting of a jelly-like substance of 
various sizes and shapes, and forming gregarious 
masses, were seen surrounding the ship in as 
great abundance as the weed. A sailor was 
let down a-stern, who picked up as many as 
filled a bucket. On examination, they appeared 
firm gelatinous lumps, of a hard gristly texture, 
some three, some four inches long, and two 
broad, of a quadrangular shape and hyaline hue, 
having appendices attached to them, of dif- 
ferent forms and sizes, some of which resembled 
a hawk's head, with a spherical opaque ball 
inside, of a dark brown colour below, and yellow 

* Mollusca salpa. 


above, giving it the appearance of a bird's head 
with a large eye. Others were exceedingly 
imperfect, resembling a misshapen lump of 
jelly, with a small protuberance, so as to give 
the appearance of any thing, rather than of an 
organized living animal. In every one, how- 
ever, was a membrane, either brown or purple, 
which appeared to be an intestine or a stomach, 
which opened by an aperture at both ends ; but 
which the mollusca seemed to have the power 
of closing so firmly, as sometimes to obliterate 
it. Some of them were exceedingly elegant ; 
the lucid jelly, laced with purple or other vivid 
hues, with which the intestine was tinged, re- 
flected the light of the evening sun with a 
prismatic lustre, quite beautiful, as they floated 
in congregated masses past the ship. They 
were occasionally accompanied with more or- 
ganized medusae, of various shapes, but they 
did not seem to possess their stinging pro- 
perties ; we all handled them, and did not feel 
any of the sensation produced by the urtica 
marina. I preserved some of them in a glass, 
to ascertain if they were phosphorescent, but 
neither in the sound state in which they were 
taken, nor the decomposition into which they 
afterwards fell, did they emit any luminous 


particles. Next day they were in a state of 
solution so offensive, that we threw them all 

It was not easy, at first, to conceive for what 
purpose these very imperfect beings could 
have been formed, and in such abundance, as 
to cover the whole surface of the sea ; but we 
were soon satisfied that nature produces nothing 
in vain, and Providence has its own uses for 
every created thing. Presently a number of 
whales and grampuses appeared, pursuing this 
bait, and wallowing in the abundance of their 
food. The mollusca, therefore, is called by the 
Icelanders, walfiscoas, or whale's provender. 
They came tumbling and rolling along on all 
sides of us, forming large circles, and sporting 
round the ship. One of them was fifty or sixty 
feet long, and was first discovered by his blowing 
or ejecting water from his nostrils, in a spout, 
which sometimes formed a spray in the air, 
and sometimes descended in an arch, like the 
stream ejected from the tube of a fire engine. 
He then rose half way out of the water, his 
head, back, and tail, with a large part of his 
body, being very distinct above the surface; 
and while the sun glittered in strong reflexion 
from his oily sides, he shot close beside us, 
and seemed indeed " that great beast leviathan, 


whom God of his creatures created hugest, 
that swim the ocean streams." In this way he 
proceeded in foam, and left a long wake behind 
him, while he performed a circle, in a few 
minutes, of several miles in circumference, and 
then returned again to the ship, as to some 
companion from whom he was unwilling to 
separate. After sporting about us for some time, 
and finding perhaps his mistake, he again shot 
away, and was lost in the distant horizon. 

On the evening of Friday, 19th of June, St. 
Michael's was seen rising before us, enveloped 
in mist ; and as it was too late to land, we stood 
on and off all night. Towards morning, the 
clouds descended in torrents of rain till sun-rise, 
when it cleared, and we saw the island close 
alongside, glittering in the humid light. We 
made the land near Cape Mosteyros, where the 
volcanic island of Sabrina had appeared and 
disappeared. No trace of it was visible ; but 
its former existence was marked by the shoals 
which lie just under the surface, over which the 
sea beats. We coasted from thence along the 
whole southern shore. The high land in the 
centre was covered, like Madeira, with a very 
dense mist, terminated by an abrupt horizontal 
line, half way up the highlands ; all above dark 
and hidden, and all below bright and revealed. 


As we advanced the clouds cleared away, and 
the interior of the island became visible. It 
presented a succession of conical hills, culti- 
vated up to their summits as far as the eye 
could reach ; forming a strong contrast to Ma- 
deira. In the one, the whole was a rich cul- 
tivated soil, covered with crops, unshadowed 
by a single tree ; in the other, timber seemed 
the only production, indicating that its title to 
the name of Madeira is nearly as strong at the 
present day, as at the time of its discovery. 

Towards mid-day we arrived off the town 
of Del Gado, where a number of ships were 
lying ; and among the rest, the Undaunted 
frigate, Captain Clifford, who had not long 
arrived. I went on shore with an officer, and 
we proceeded to the house of Mr. Reid, the 
consul. The town we found in a considerable 
state of excitement. About 1200 Miguelite 
troops had gone to Terceira, where they were 
not permitted to land ; and from thence pro- 
ceeded to St. Michael's. They had been led to 
expect, it was said, the plunder of the first 
island ; but being disappointed, they came pre- 
pared, it was apprehended, to realize their hopes 
in the second. Here, also, if they had any such 
idea, their object was defeated. The people of 
Terceira are generally attached to Dom Miguel, 


and the garrison, only, constitutionalists ; on the 
contrary, the garrison only, at St. Michael's, 
adhere to the new order of things, while the 
people are all attached to the constitution. 
They thought it necessary, therefore, to enrol 
a body of 3000 militia, to keep in check the 
regular troops, and protect themselves from the 
threatened depredation. Notwithstanding this 
restraint, the garrison were so unruly, and 
showed so hostile a disposition to the English, 
that the consul thought it prudent to mount a 
brass field-piece before his house, and to get 
some armed friends to reside with him; sup- 
posing it possible that the soldiers might endea- 
vour to put their threats into execution. He 
also wrote for a ship of war, which might be 
ready in case of need, to protect the persons and 
property of British subjects ; and the Undaunted 
was despatched, and had arrived a few days 

But a circumstance had just occurred which 
had thrown the people into great agitation. 
The Briton, an English ship, had been freighted 
with a cargo of tobacco, beef, and other things, 
for Terceira, but was intercepted some leagues 
from the island, by a blockading ship of war, 
who fired into her, took her as a lawful 
prize, and sent her into St. Michael's. The 


captain brought with him an extraordinary story ; 
that the French and English government had 
intimated to Dom Miguel that he must abdicate, 
and that 10,000 troops were about to embark 
from Cork for Portugal, under the command of 
the Marquis of Anglesea, to compel him. Ab- 
surd as this news was, it was received with 
avidity by the people. They have no press on 
the island, but the story was translated into 
Portuguese, and a number of copies of it, in 
manuscript, were circulated about ; and every 
one was eager to transcribe it. It was shown 
to us as a thing of which there was no doubt ; 
and I was deemed most unreasonably incredu- 
lous to question the truth of it. 

A strong sensation was, in consequence, ex- 
cited among the people, who began to evince 
their feelings. The constitutional hymn was 
heard every night through the street ; the peo- 
ple and soldiers were constantly coming into 
collision. Nine respectable persons had been 
arrested and thrown into prison, the evening 
before our arrival, for some indiscreet display of 
their sentiments. We met groups of soldiers 
under arms, who seemed to show a determined 
hostility to the people about them ; and the 
whole island was approaching to a state of 
commotion, from this wild fabrication. 


The consul invited us to visit his seat in the 
country, for which purpose two donkeys were 
brought to the door. The saddles were stuffed 
with pads, having cross sticks for pummels, 
which stuck up before and behind like the 
horns of a lady's saddle in England. On this, 
we sat like women, with one leg over the cross 
sticks, while a boy behind with a long pole and 
a goad at the end, pricked them on and fol- 
lowed in a trot, shouting and directing them 
with his voice, which they obeyed with more 
than the sagacity of an ass. Whenever we 
came to a doubtful turn, the boy behind shouted 
out " esquerda," or " destra," and our intelli- 
gent animals immediately turned to the left or 
to the right, as they were ordered, with the 
most unerring obedience. 

The cluster of islands called the Azores is 
the most northern of those which dot the At- 
lantic. They were discovered, like Madeira, by 
an accident. In the middle of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, Joshua Vanderberg, of Bruges, in Flanders, 
was making a voyage to Lisbon, and was driven 
by a strong easterly wind so far to the west, that 
he fell in with this group of islands. When he 
had refitted he resumed his voyage ; and on 
his arrival at Lisbon, boasted of his discovery. 
As the Portuguese were at this time the most 


enterprising mariners in Europe, they immedi- 
ately availed themselves of his intelligence ; and 
before he could apprize his own government, or 
fit out a ship, they anticipated him, and took 
possession of the islands. They found on them 
no human inhabitants, but a vast number of 
birds occupied the islands, particularly hawks ; 
they therefore called them the Acores, or the 
islands of hawks.* 

The tardy Flemings, it appears, at length sent 
people also to profit by the discovery of their 
countryman, Vanderberg. The newly- disco- 
vered group was conferred, in 1466, by the 
King of Portugal, on his sister, the Duchess of 
Burgundy, and she sent out colonies under Job 
de Huerter. They settled principally at S. Jorge 
and Fayal, two of the islands, from whence the 
group was early called Flemengos. The high 

* Cordeyro, in his Insulana, says nothing of the original discovery 
by the Flemings, though he mentions their subsequent occupation of 
S. Jorge and Fayal. He admits, however, that Prince Henry had 
received some previous notice of their existence, and sent out two ex- 
peditions expressly to find them. Some attribute this knowledge to 
ancient charts in his possession, but the worthy ecclesiastic himself 
believed it was a divine revelation communicated to him, which only 
could account for the constancy with which he sought till he found 
them. "O devoto Infante, teve alguma revelacao ou inspiracao divino, 
em que com a constancia que veremos perseverou em mandar des- 
cubrir taes Unas.'' (Ins. 97.) The revelacSo was probably the commu- 
nication of the Fleming. 


state of cultivation to which they have attained, 
and the very fair countenances of many of the 
peasantry, strongly attest this Flemish coloni- 

The group of the Azores consists of nine 
islands, of which Angra, in Terceira, is the 
capital, and residence of the civil governor ; but 
St. Michael's is the most productive, and the 
seat of the bishop. It is thirty-five miles long, 
from east to west, and about ten broad, from 
north to south. A census was taken about ten 
years ago, which gave it a population of 80,000 ; 
but as this was made by ecclesiastics, who do 
not include young persons under the age of 
confession, it was supposed to be far below 
the actual number, which is now known to 
be 105,000 people of all ages. They are dis- 
tinguished for their moral qualities ; they are 
simple, honest, and good natured ; and the high 
state of cultivation in which they keep their 
island, attests at once their skill and industry — 
not an acre of arable soil is lost, and both Euro- 
pean and tropical vegetation flourishes, side by 
side, in the most luxuriant manner. Wheat 
and bananas, figs and cabbages, oranges and 
potatoes, are equally abundant and excellent 
in their kind. 

All England attests the reputation of their 


oranges, and the increasing demand is so great, 
that it has effected a surprising alteration in the 
revenues of the farmers. A gentleman, who 
lived near the consul's, possessed a large laran- 
jeira, or orangery, which he prized so little that 
he refused to sell the fruit, and invited every one 
who chose to come and take them. The foreign 
demand, however, became so great, that he was 
at length prevailed on to send them to England, 
and last year he realized 4,000 crowns, from the 
produce of a garden, that never before produced 
him a vintem. 

The island is much indebted to its humidity 
for its fertility. Its summit is generally en- 
veloped all day in mist, which at night descends 
in rain, and in the morning rises to its former 
elevation, leaving the sky below clear and serene, 
and the earth fertile and verdant to a beautiful 
degree. This humidity contributes also to the 
rapid decomposition of volcanic matter, which 
the natives pound, as the farmers treat bones 
in England, for manure, and in that state, when 
acted on by air and water, it soon becomes a 
rich mould. 

Among the happy exemptions from evil, is 
that from the evil of the slave trade. There 
is not, I am informed, a slave on any of the 
islands, nor did I see a black face, or the 



descendant of one, at St. Michael's. The effects 
of free labour are not only visible in the soil, 
but in those who cultivate it. The people are 
not the same flabby, sallow, indolent race, as 
their countrymen in Brazil, who lead themselves 
a life of idleness, and rely for support on the 
labour of their negroes. They are, on the con- 
trary, an upright, muscular, well-knit peasantry, 
whose nerves are strung, and whose blood is 
purified by toil; and their children are an un- 
commonly fine chubby race of little beings ; we 
saw several of them running about the roads and 
fields, generally almost naked, and some actually 
so. They were fat, fair, and good-humoured, with 
curly hair, and very handsome laughing faces, 
not at all resembling the lean, uncomely, dark- 
visaged, ill-tempered children, we saw in Brazil, 
kicking and scratching the negroes who carried 
them about, and habitually exercising on all 
occasions their little passions with impunity, 
on those whom they knew were their slaves, and 
obliged to bear it. Some of these children were 
so fair, that we took it for granted they were 
descendants of the Flemings. 

That the people of St. Michael's are very 
prolific, was evinced by the number of children 
we every where saw, and the industry with 
which it was necessary to cultivate the soil for 

Peasants of St. Michael proceeding to Del Gado. 


their support. In further proof of it, the island 
furnishes an annual surplus, which emigrates 
to Brazil, and forms the most valuable part of 
the population where they settle. Dom John 
was so convinced of the excellence of their 
moral and physical qualities, that by an alvara 
issued in 1813, he invited the people of the 
Azores to emigrate, located them on lands as 
agriculturists, and to induce them the more, 
he exempted them from military service in the 
line, and did not even call on them to be 
enrolled in the militia, if they did not wish 
it themselves. About 200 people leave St. 
Michael's every year for this purpose, and their 
robust persons and industrious habits are an 
important acquisition, where every white free 
man is so valuable. 

Their dress is distinguished by two pecu- 
liarities, the caps of the men, and the hoods 
of the women ; the caps are called carapoos, 
and are of a very singular shape. They consist 
of a head-piece, having a square leaf protruding 
before, and a long flap hanging down behind. 
The leaf is turned up at the ears, and terminated 
at the corners, by two sharp projections, which 
resemble cows' horns; the whole is usually 
covered with blue velveteen, and is very heavy 
and cumbrous. They readily assign reasons of 
l l 2 


convenience for every part of this singular head- 
piece. They let down the flap behind, they 
say, to protect them from the wind when it 
is cold, and from the sun when it is hot, in 
which latter case the leaf is curled up at the 
ears, that the breeze may ventilate them. When 
motives of expediency induce them to throw 
up the flap, it is received upon the horns, where 
it hangs, like the festoons of a curtain, on a 
hook. These, and sundry other advantages, a 
man pointed out to me while he held his cap 
in his hand, with as much seriousness and 
precision, as if he was demonstrating a problem 
or a diagram in Euclid. 

The hoods of the women are of an enormous 
size, nearly as large as the rest of the cloak, and 
when thrown over them, they sit enveloped, 
as if within the calash of a chaise. 

The animal used for journeying, is always 
an ass, caparisoned as I have described ; and 
peasants going to market are frequently accom- 
panied by pigs of an enormous size, nearly as 
large as the asses they ride. They exactly re- 
semble the long-legged breed of this animal, 
so well known in the county of Kilkenny, in 
Ireland, and which I had seen no where else 
before. It is probable they were originally 
brought from thence, as the distance between 


the Azores and the south of Ireland is com- 
paratively short, and the intercourse frequent. 

The English form a respectable residence here, 
of about one hundred persons, who, with the 
crews of the ships in the road, compose a con- 
gregation of from two to three hundred people, 
for whom, formerly, divine service was never 
performed. This deficiency was remedied by 
Dom John, who permitted chapels to be built 
for English congregations in his dominions else- 
where, as well as in Brazil. A large edifice for 
protestant worship is now erected outside the 
town, but not yet opened for divine service ; 
but an English chaplain, resident on the island, 
perforins, in the meantime, all necessary duties. 

The constitutional spirit, and the intelligence 
which accompanies it, are strong in the islands, 
particularly at St. Michael's ; and if I were to 
judge from the short conversations I have had 
with some of the inhabitants, it is likely that 
knowledge and improvement, and liberal opi- 
nions, will increase. One gentleman was par- 
ticularly intelligent. He was engaged in the 
constitutional cause, and had sailed in the 
Isabella frigate to Madeira, to give his aid to 
the island ; but finding it had surrendered, he 
proceeded to Terceira. As this was block- 
aded, he could not land, but disembarked at 


St. Michael's, where he remained unknown. 1 
had heard a high account of his moral character. 
I never met a man of more pleasing manners, 
or more gentlemanly address. Though young, 
he had travelled much, and spoke English, 
French, and Italian, with fluency. He had also 
stored his mind with a variety of information, 
and I was indebted to him for much interesting 
knowledge. I parted from him with great 
esteem and good-will, and with feelings of deep 
regret, that such men, so capable of rendering 
the best service to their country, should be the 
proscribed and persecuted fugitives. 

In contemplating the various groups of islands 
that are scattered over the Pacific and the 
Atlantic, it should seem that however similar 
in their present appearance, they owe their 
origin to very different causes ; the formation 
of the one was the slow and patient labour 
of minute insects, that of the other was the 
rapid and sudden explosion of volcanic fire. 
That this is the origin of the Atlantic groups, I 
believe there is no doubt. Some of the islands 
of Cape Verde are masses of cinders and cal- 
cined rocks. One of the former is called Fogo, 
or fire, which at this day rages with such 
violence, as to force the inhabitants in terror 
to leave the island for a season. The Peak of 


Teneriffe, in the Canaries, is nothing more than 
a vast chimney, elevated above the surface of 
the sea, through which an active volcano still 
finds vent, and the furnaces cf ignited matter 
glowing beneath, pour out their liquified and 
overflowing contents through it. The island of 
Ascension is a heap of cinders and ashes, but 
exhibits, in a striking manner, their conversion 
into fertilized soil. Some of the calcined rock is 
so soft, that a stick may be thrust several feet 
into it, and it is rapidly decomposing by the 
action of the atmosphere. A few years ago 
it was uninhabitable ; but some free blacks trans- 
ported to it, and, aided by the garrison, have 
now elaborated this burnt rock into productive 
mould, and green patches of vegetation are 
beginning to cover the surface of the island. 

But the Azores, even in the memory of man 
now living, and in our own times, have dis- 
played all the phenomena which, in the other 
islands, are hidden in remote ages. They all 
show, more or less, undeniable traces of their 
recent origin, but St. Michael's in particular is 
a wonderful proof of it. The face of the island 
presents a succession of conical hills, and where 
the industry of the inhabitants has not covered 
them with mould, masses of rocks appear in all 
stages of calcination, modified by the ingredients 


of which they are composed ; some light and 
porous lava, some vitrified from the presence 
of silex and alkali, some metallic, and exactly 
resembling the slag or scoria thrown out as 
the refuse of a lead or iron furnace. In the 
interior of the island, is a chain of circular lakes, 
extending from one end to the other, each of 
them apparently a basin of water, which filled 
up the crater of an extinct volcano. 

That the action which first propelled the 
island from the bottom of the sea is still going 
on, is evident from the caldeiros, or hot springs, 
which boil up in different places, of a heat so 
intense, as to cook eggs and other culinary 
substances put into them in a short time ; and 
columns of smoke are continually seen issuing 
from the tops and sides of mountains, either 
ascending in magnificent pillars to the clouds, 
or carried by the wind horizontally, like the 
black vapour of a vast foundry. Along the 
south shore, just opposite to Villa Franca, is 
a rock of a singular description. It forms a 
perfect circle, enclosing within it a beautiful 
basin, accessible for vessels by a narrow gap in 
the volcanic wall ; and this is used as a harbour 
for ships, and called Porto do Ilheo. This was 
evidently a volcano, pushed to a great height 
from the bottom of the ocean; and having 


expended itself, the apex and sides fell into the 
void circular space, and the water of the ocean 
rushing through the gap, for ever extinguished 
the fire, and left behind this singular insular 
port, as a memorial of its former state of exis- 
tence. That this was the origin of the basin, 
there is no doubt, as similar events occurred in 
other parts of the island, one of them but a few 
years ago, and thousands are alive who wit- 
nessed it. 

From the earliest residence of the Portuguese, 
the island has undergone a succession of muta- 
tions from fire ; and the phenomena attending 
them were so awful, that some writers attribute 
them to the supernatural agency of demons, and 
call the place Ilha Fatal. In 1522, the town of 
Villa Franca, in the immediate vicinity of which 
this volcanic isle had been thrown up, was to- 
tally destroyed by a similar convulsion of nature, 
and attended with such circumstances, that the 
people think it at this day, a divine visitation. 
An ecclesiastic, of great reputed sanctity, had 
come to the town, and warned it of impending 
ruin ; and certain children in the evening were 
heard crying in the street, " To-morrow we 
die, — the city will be buried." The townsmen 
laughed at this, and said, " If we must die, let us 
die well fed," and continued all night carousing. 


About two hours before light, on the 21st 
of October, while they were looking out at 
a bright starlight sky, with a gentle breeze 
blowing, and all nature in calm repose, a sub- 
terranean explosion rent many parts of the 
island asunder ; and the serra that overlooked 
Villa Franca, was in an instant torn from its 
base, and upturned on the city, burying the 
whole of it and its vicinity, with all the houses 
and inhabitants, under the newly raised moun- 

The island had also been distinguished by 
two high hills, one at the east and the other 
at the western extremity, near Point Mosteyros. 
The former still continues, but the latter has 
disappeared ; a subterranean fire burst out at its 
base, undermined its foundation, and upturned 
the whole into the sea ; and it was at this spot 
that an island was recently thrown up, while 
thousands in St. Michael's were looking on, and 
are now living witnesses of this extraordinary 
phenomenon ; among the rest, the consul, Mr. 
Reid, who stood on a promontory, which over- 
looked and commanded a view of the whole 
magnificent operation which he described to me. 

In the year 1810, the island was agitated by 
various shocks of different degrees of intensity ; 
some shaking the ground with a long undulating 


motion, by which many houses were destroyed, 
and the people who attempted to escape and 
seek safety in the open air, were dashed to the 
earth, and more or less injured. On the east 
of the island, some rocks were rent into an 
orifice, from which flames and smoke occasion- 
ally issued, though there did not seem to be 
any eruption of lava, or more solid matter. 

On the 13th of June, in the following year, 
these alarming indications again recurred; fre- 
quent agitations of the earth were felt, and 
black vapours were observed to be projected 
with considerable force from various places. 
At Ponta del Gado, the capital, several cottages 
fell, and a portion of the cliff was thrown into 
the sea. At length, the electric vapour and 
volcanic matter struggling for exit, forced a 
passage in a w r onderful manner, and all the 
commotion on the surface subsided. 

On the 16th of June, the Sabrina sloop of 
war, cruising off the west end of the island, 
observed columns of white smoke arising from 
the sea, and supposing it to be caused by some 
naval encounter, hastened towards it, to assist 
a friend or annoy an enemy. The wind, how- 
ever, failed her, and she could not approach 
sufficiently near; but vast flames of fire now 
issuing from the water, along with the smoke, 


convinced the people on board that it was not 
an engagement, but a volcano, bursting from 
the bottom of the sea. 

The next day, Mr. Reid, with the captain 
of the Sabrina, and several others, proceeded 
to the west end of the island, and ascended a 
cliff three or four hundred feet above the level 
of the sea, from whence they had a full view 
of the volcano. The first appearance was, a 
vast body of smoke revolving horizontally on 
the surface of the water. From the centre of 
this, a column of cinders occasionally shot up 
with immense explosions, accompanied by ashes 
and stones, forming a spire inclined to the ho- 
rizon, in the direction of the wind. These 
spiry projections succeeded each other at inter- 
vals, each rising higher than the former, till they 
ascended as much above the summit of the cliff 
on which the spectators stood, as they were 
above the level of the sea. As the light 
ashes descended, they were dilated into various 
branches, like pine trees, and the dark powder, 
mingled with the white smoke, formed, as they 
were described to me, magnificent plumes, re- 
sembling, on a large scale, the black and white 
ostrich feathers, nodding on the canopy of a 
hearse. These eruptions were attended by a 
continued discharge of light and sound, like 


the explosions of a battery of cannon; and 
sketches were taken by Mr. Reid and his com- 
panion, of the appearance presented in the 
light and the dark, which form very extra- 
ordinary but awful-looking pictures. 

On the 18th, the column was still rising, 
and the Sabrina approached it as near as she 
could with safety. At noon, the mouth of a 
crater was observed, just beginning to show 
itself above the surface of the sea, in a spot 
where there was before known to be forty fathom 
of water ; so that this huge mass of matter must 
have gradually protruded itself from the bottom, 
to the height of 240 feet, in forty-eight hours. 
From hence it was seen more distinctly to 
ascend, and at three o'clock, it was thirty feet 
high. On the 19th, it had attained the height 
of fifty-one feet, and extended itself to the 
length of three-quarters of a mile, still raging 
with unabating violence, throwing out large 
stones to the distance of a mile, and lighter 
black sand, which was expanded to a greater 
extent, and covered the Sabrina's deck, then 
three miles from the spot. These were accom- 
panied by sundry water-spouts, thrown into the 
air, and again descending in spray or rain. 

In this way it continued gradually ascending, 
and enlarging, by the accumulation of calcined 


matter exploded from the bottom of the ocean, 
till at length the inflammable materials were 
exhausted, the fire gradually extinguished, the 
commotion subsided, and when the smoke dis- 
persed, and opened to view what was shrouded 
in its mysterious vale, a complete and romantic 
island was seen calmly reposing on the bosom 
of the ocean, like any other of these insular 
spots, which either singly, or in clusters, are 
scattered over the face of the Atlantic. 

It was now visited by people, and among the 
rest, by the crew of the Sabrina, who ran the 
ship close in with it, and in perfect security 
landed on the beach on the 4th of July. It was 
found to be very steep and irregular, rising, in 
some places, to the height of two or three hun- 
dred feet. In many parts it was abrupt, rugged, 
and inaccessible, but more level and gradual 
ascents were found, by which the people gained 
the summit. From hence they saw that the 
form of the island was nearly circular, and the 
circumference about a mile. In the centre was 
a large basin in a state of ebullition, from one 
side of which ran a stream into the sea, about 
six yards wide, through an opening left in the 
rim of the reservoir, opposite St. Michael's ; 
and the temperature of the sea about it was 
so raised, that at sixty or seventy yards dis- 


tance, the water was hotter than the hand 
could endure. 

The materials with which the island was 
constructed, consisted of lava, cinders, sul- 
phurous concretions, metallic slag, and such 
substances in general as compose the substratum 
of the soil of St. Michael's, and of all the 
islands of the Atlantic, but in a recent state, 
and so hot, that the feet of those who walked 
over it could not endure it long. As the island 
was first seen emerging from the sea, and first 
visited by the British, this new-found land was 
taken possession of for his Britannic Majesty, 
and the crew of the Sabrina departed, leaving 
the union-jack flying on the highest and most 
conspicuous point. 

To have watched the progress of this island, and 
ascertained in what period of time its calcined 
surface became, by the action of the atmosphere, 
fertile and productive soil, would be a subject of 
deep interest, not less as an object of philosophic, 
but religious inquiry, and set at rest those 
sceptical opinions that have been founded on the 
eruptions of Mount Etna ; but this very mag- 
nificent fabric of nature's recent operations, did 
not long endure. It was seen by degrees 
gradually to descend again to the level of the 
water, and in the middle of October it entirely 


disappeared below the surface, with the Union 
flag still on it, like one of our first-rates going 
down with her colours flying, after some terrible 

It has left behind it, however, a satisfactory 
and irrefragable testimony of nature's mode of 
operation in producing the other and more 
permanent islands of these seas ; and Porto do 
Ilheo still exists on one side of St. Michael's, to 
shew what Sabrina had been on the other. 

While we see these mutations of nature going 
on under our own eyes, and islands appearing 
and disappearing, not the visionary deception of 
meteors, but actual and substantial land, we 
should not, I think, be so sceptical on those 
which have been mentioned as existing in former 
ages, though now not seen. The Atalantis is 
minutely described by Plato* as a large continent, 
existing beyond the Pillar of Hercules, and he 
had received a particular account of it from 
those who were at that time the repository of 
all knowledge, the priests of the Delta of Egypt. 
Of its disappearance an account is given similar 
to the phenomena which attended on Sabrina ; 
and it is not without reason that Athanasius 
Kircher supposes, that the different groups of 

* Plato, Timreus. lib. xxxii. p. 704. 


islands now seen in the Atlantic are existing 
fragments of that continent. In more modern 
times, the island of St. Brandon has appeared 
and disappeared ; and notwithstanding the ab- 
surd fables by which the account of it is dis- 
figured, I do not think it at all improbable, that 
it had once a real existence, and was to be found 
in the Atlantic as well as in the maps, on which 
it was continued to be set down so late as the 
year 1755. 

On leaving the island of St. Michael's, our 
course lay along the southern shore, and brought 
us close by the Ilheo. It stood out before 
Villa Franca, which rose behind it with the 
fragments of the upturned mountain, which had 
submerged the former city. From hence we 
took our departure ; so we made the island on 
the spot where Sabrina had appeared, and we 
left where Ilh6o still raised its volcanic head 
above the waters. 

We proceeded with a favourable breeze, and 
in a few days were convinced that we were 
approaching home by the characteristic aspect 
of the sky, which now changed its appearance. 
The weather became chill and damp, with dark 
dirty looking clouds sailing along, and followed 
by rain and squalls ; and on the 23d of June we 
saw, for the first time, the sea-bird peculiar to 



our shores,* and called by sailors, the Channel 

After encountering for six days some very 
hard weather, on the 29th we made the Lizard, 
and about nine in the evening we landed at 



Conde da Ponte, Governor and Captain- General of the Captaincy of 

My Friend, 

I the Prince Regent salute you as one I love. Attending 
to the representation which you caused to be submitted to my Royal 
presence, on the subject of the interruption and suspension of the 
commerce of this captaincy, to the grievous prejudice of my sub- 
jects, and of my royal exchequer, in consequence of the critical and 
public events of Europe ; and desirous of taking on this important 
subject some prompt precautions, and capable of remedying such 
heavy losses, — I am induced to order provisionally, until some gene- 
ral system be consolidated which shall effectually regulate such mat- 
ters, the following : 1st. That there be admitted into the Custom 
House of Brazil all and every kind of produce and merchandise, 
transported in foreign ships, belonging to powers which are at peace 
with my royal crown, or in the ships of my subjects, on paying at 
entrance 24 per cent. ; to wit, 20 of gross duty, and 4 of a gratuity 
already established; regulating the receipt of these duties by the 
tarif already settled in each of these said custom-houses, causing 
wines, ardent spirits, and sweet oils to pay double the duty hitherto 
demanded. 2dly. That not only my subjects, but the aforesaid fo- 
reigners, may export to such ports as shall seem good to them, for 
the benefit of commerce and agriculture, which I so much desire to 
promote, all and every kind of colonial produce, with the exception 
of Brazil wood, or other produce notoriously exhausted; paying on 
exportation the same duties as are already established in the respec- 
tive captaincies ; all laws, royal charters, or other orders which have 
hitherto, in this state of Brazil, prohibited reciprocal commerce and 
navigation between my subjects and foreigners, being now suspended 
and without force. 

All which you will cause to be executed with the zeal and activity 
which I expect from you. 

Written at Bahia, 28th of January, 1808. 

The Prince. 
To the Conde da Ponte. 



D. Joao, by the Grace of God, Prince Regent of Portugal and the 
Algarves, in Africa and Guinea, and of the Conquest, Navigation, 
and Commerce of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India, &c. make 
known to those to whom this present Letter of Law shall come, that 
there being constantly in my royal mind the most lively desire to 
cause to prosper those States which the Divine Providence has con- 
fided to my sovereign rule ; and giving, at the same time, its due 
importance to the magnitude and locality of my dominions in 
America, to the copiousness and variety of the precious elements of 
wealth which it contains ; and knowing besides how advantageous to 
my faithful subjects in general will be a perfect union and identity 
between my kingdom of Portugal, the Algarves, and my dominions 
of Brazil, by raising them to that grade and political class, which, by 
the aforesaid proposition, they ought to aspire to, and in which my 
said dominions have been already considered by the plenipotentiaries 
of the powers which form the Congress at Vienna, also in the Treaty 
of Alliance concluded on the 8th of April in the current year, as in 
the final treaty of the same Congress ; I am therefore minded, and it 
is my pleasure, to ordain as follows : — 

1st. That from the publication of this Letter of Law, the State of 
Brazil shall be elevated to the dignity, preeminence, and denomina- 
tion of — The Kingdom of Brazil. 2dly. That my kingdom of Por- 
tugal, the Algarves, and Brazil, shall form from henceforth one only 
and united kingdom, under the title of — The United Kingdom of 
Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves. 3dly. That for the titles inherent 
in the crown of Portugal, and of which it has hitherto made use in all 
its public acts, the new title shall be substituted of — Prince Regent 
of the United Kingdoms of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves, &c. 

Given in the Palace of Rio de Janeiro the 16th of December, 

The Prince. 

Marquez de Aguier. 


Composto por S.M.I, o Senhor Dom Pedro 1? 

«... f ^^#ffte f£%^ 


si i, No ho.ri-son- -te do Bra_-sil, No ho_ri--son tenoho-ri. 




+ . a 

». f _ ~m- o 

■ r/ f 



son-te do Bra-sil . fc 

Bravagen.te Bra. si 

*- ^ A- 

I ^i^tt i f^^fftfj^tir f a 

lei.ra, longe va te.morser-\il, ou fi - car aPa-tria li — vne,oumor 

rer pe-lo B"ra-»il, ou mor.rer oumorrer pe.lo Bra-sil. 


r i # i * f * 1 1 ^S "8" i » ik 

Hrfr* — • 

^r^ r i rr .ffarrr ^ lfri r -ar^ ffl 

, J . , J , g . ' .^ j ^-g fo 





Years. lbs. 

1818 11,874,304 

1819 8,600,548 

1820 14,910,240 

1821 16,861,892 

1822 24,318,304 

1823 29,599,168 

1824 36,688,673 

1825 29,291,664 

1826 41,600,000 

1828 58,871,360 


1825 . 

1826 . 
1828 . 


Boxes. Barrels. 

1650 — 
1348 — 
465 13,867 
The case is about 50 arrobas of 
32 lbs. per arroba ; the box, 20 to 
25 arrobas ; the barrel, 6 to 8 ar- 

Besides the foregoing, there is an 
export of 10 to 12,000 bags of 4| 
arrobas each, of Santos Sugar. 





Rolls of 75 lbs. 

1823 26,896 

1825 21,165 

1826 27,064 

1828 24,620 


Serous of 128 lbs. 

1823 8898 

1825 3401 

1826 4449 

1828 2440 


Arrobas of 32 lbs. 

1824 450,000 

1825 550,000 

1826 600,000 

From the beginning to the middle 

of the season, about three quarters 
of the sugars which come to the 
market are white ; afterwards, about 
one-half ; towards the end of the sea- 
son, hardly one- third. 





1819 29,775 

1820 38,688 

1821 48,814 

1822 35,660 

1823 10,272 


Bags of 150 lbs. 

1819 29.311 

1820 41,708 

1821 41,146 

1822 34,720 

1823 8302 

The case at Bahia is smaller than that of Rio Janeiro 
The year 1823 was one of revolution. 

VOL. II. N N . 

say 40 arrobas. 




Dr. Importations, 1828. 

Great Britain 2,200,000 

France 350,000 

United States 150,000 

Germany, &c 60,000 

Mediterranean and Por- 
tugal 300,000 

£ 3,060,000 

At 8$ per U. sterl. 24,480,000$ 

Exportations, 1828. Cr. 

Coffee 1,839,730 arrobas 5,151,244$ 






963,000 do. 

47,000 do. 
207,277 hides 

11,080 arrobas 
365,288 horns 



Specie, Valuables, &c. 



The remittances to London from the three ports of Rio Janeiro, Bahia, 
and Pernambuco, for payment of dividends and expenses of embassies for 
the last year, was 595,000/. or 4,500,000$ ; besides which, during the war, 
there was exclusively remitted from Rio Janeiro, the expense of the blockad- 
ing squadron in the River Plate, amounting to 300,000$ monthly, and 
about 150,000$ more, the expenditure of the army at Monte Video, and 
in Rio Grande, beyond the revenue of those provinces. 

In making up the above account, the tobacco and rice exported are not 
included, because these articles are sent to the ports of the south, and the 
produce coming back in hides, magnifies the amount of the articles after- 
wards exported to Europe. 

The estimate of importations must more or less be matter of conjecture ; 
it is the opinion that one-third of the imports from England are sold for the 
trade of the coast of Africa ; when that trade ceases, there will be a falling 
off to that extent, besides what further consumption may be indirectly in- 
duced from the activity occasioned by that trade, amongst the persons and 
their families engaged in it. The exchanges may therefore, on the ceasing 
of the slave trade, be expected to improve ; any advance in the value of 
colonials in the markets of Europe, will contribute to the same end. In the 
meantime, it is evident that Rio Janeiro is not in a situation to augment 
her foreign expenditure in the most trifling degree, without occasioning 
burdens of a most oppressive nature to the people. 


rf Foreign Nations which entered the Port 

of Rio Janeir 

following Years. 












































































Netherlands, &c, about equal to the Swedish. 




No. on Map. Braqas. H 

8 Altura, (Height) da 

Saude 62 




Bairro (District) da 



114 Beco(^/fe#)dosAflic- 




— da Alfama .... 



— da Alfandega . . . 

— dos Barbeiros . . 




— da Batalha .... 




— dos Cachorros . . 




— do Calabouco . . . 

— do Carmo 





— das Cancellas . . . 




— das Ferreiros . . . 




— da Fidalga .... 

— do Fisco 




— da Gamboa .... 




— do Guindaste . . . 






— do Ignacio .... 

— do Imperio .... 

— de bom Jardim . . 




— de Joao Baptista . 

— da Lapa 

— do Livramento . . 






— de Manoel Car- 






— de boa Morte . . 




— da Moura .... 




— da Muzica .... 




— da Pedreira .... 




162 — do Piolho . . 




— da Praya 

— do Proposito . . . 



No. on Map. Bra<as. Houses. 

67 Beco das Quarteis . . 63 57 

106 — do Rosario .... 21 15 

70 — de Santa Rita . . 16 16 

14 — da Saude 24 8 

12 — do Suspiro .... 83 IS 

186 — dos Tambores . . 61 25 
175 — da Torre de S. 

Jose 35 15 

219 Boqueirao (Glen) da 

Lapa 33 21 

131 Campo (Plain) da 

Acclamacao ... 1180 133 

189 Castello (Castle) ... 510 104 
53 Ladeiro (Slope) da 

Conceicao 120 73 

183 Largo (Square) da 

Batalba 160 30 

103 — do Capim 142 55 

166 — do Carioca .... 115 29 

116 — de S. Domingos . 65 24 
110 — de S. Francisco de 

Paula 140 31 

220 —da Lapa 130 15 

185 — da Misericordia .70 15 

81 —do Paco 315 26 

71 — de Santa Rita . . 65 34 
139 — do Rocio 315 44 

104 — do Rosario .... 110 50 

46 Morro (Hill) da Con- 

ceicao 56 22 

47 — dar Conceicao . . . 50 21 

228 — da Gloria 29 

212 —da S. Tberesa . . 

18 17 — do Livramento 142 55 



No. on Map. Bracas. Houses. 

163 Morro de S. Antonio 
159 Praca (Place) da Con- 

stituicao 735 111 

27 Praia (Shore) For- 
mosa 440 199 

230 — do Flamengo ... 650 44 

4 — da Gamboa .... 405 146 

222 — daLapa 110 54 

196 197 — de Sta. Luzia 430 114 

179 — de Manoel .... 125 104 

77 — dos Mineiros ... 92 81 

29 — da Pedreira ... 135 8 

80 — do Peixe 85 79 

48 — da Prainha .... 192 167 

15 — da Saude 190 167 

49 _ do Valongo ... 105 101 

16 — do Valonguinho .170 41 
96 Rua (Street) da Al- 

fandega 527 503 

58 —do Aljube 142 79 

194 __ da Ajuda ...'.. 330 267 

36 _ de Santa Anna . . 121 45 

199 _ de Santo Antonio 90 43 

82 — de Arco dos Telles 50 29 

207 — dosArcos 133 56 

208 — dos Arcos ou do 

Rezende 110 17 

209 — dos Arcos 200 57 

134 — do Areal 173 45 

68 _ de S. Bento ... 93 96 

204 — dos Barbonos . . 270 136 

55 — do Jogo da bola .115 83 

169 — daCadeia 179 186 

90 — da Candelaria . . 175 94 

142 — daCantaria. ... 117 62 

167 —doCano 297 303 

226 — deCatete 710 264 

88 — de Traz do Carmo 125 130 

115 — da Conceicao . . . 268 117 

148 — dsConde 870 313 

4 __ do Coreto 125 106 

No. on Map. Bracas. Houses. 

43 Rua da Costa .... 205 40 

173 — doCotorelo. . . . 95 79 

35 — de S. Diogo. ... 345 112 

85 — Direita 307 233 

160 — do Espirito Santo 85 48 

138 — das Flores .... 304 81 

108 — do Fogo 250 155 

137 — Formosa 360 161 

111 — de S. Francisco de 

Paula 185 142 

51 —de Traz de S.Fran- 

cisco 30 24 

52 — do Fundo 26 26 

3 — da Gamboa .... 95 25 

11 — da Gamboa .... 150 27 

191 — daGuardaVelha. 132 61 

228 — da Gloria 

66 — das Quarteis ... 70 73 

97 — de Traz do Hos- 

picio 526 428 

234 — do Infante .... 82 22 

153 — dos Invalidos . . . 300 132 
32 — de bom Jardim. . 206 72 
59 — de S. Joaquim . . 313 225 

125 — de S. Jorge .... 137 65 

170 — de S. Jose .... 180 205 

224 —daLapa 125 110 

235 — daLaranjeira. . . 200 21 
221 — deTravessa daLapa 26 8 
101 — dos Latoeiros . . . 144 130 

154 — do Lavradio ... 334 188 
143 — de S. Leopoldo . . 128 25 
188 — do Recolbimento. 45 14 

12 — do Livramento . . 260 133 

41 — de S. Lourenco . 145 58 

196 — de Santa Luzia . .32 21 

206 — das Mangeiras . . 88 80 

205 — das Marecas ... 78 48 

211 — da Mata Cavallos 670 254 

146 — de Mata Porcos . 552 131 

174 _ da Misericordia . 232 238 



No. on Map. Brasas. Houses. 

100 Rua dos Ourives . . . 375 319 

99 — do Ouvidor .... 276 229 

92 — Nova do Ouvidor 68 58 

217 — do Passeio .... 182 74 

124 — do Sra. dos Passos 283 228 

232 — de Pedreira .... 300 80 

74 136 30 — de S. Pedro 1323 655 

72 — dos Pescadores . . 150 157 
165 — doPiolho 156 164 

63 — da Prainha .... 188 73 

42 — do Principe .... 214 80 

229 — do Principe, Catete 100 24 

37 — daPrinceza. ... 224 138 

231 — da Princeza, Catete 120 34 

10 — do Proposito ... 146 78 

33 — da Providencia . . 86 50 

91 — da Quitanda ... 355 227 

98 — do Rosario .... 270 220 

95 135 140— doSabao 765 619 

24 34 —do Sacco ... 507 198 

119 — de S. Sacramento 120 63 

151 152-doSenado. S 3 ™ ** 

( 9o 57 

150 — Nova do Senado . 57 2 

158 — das Ciganos ... 127 71 

9 — da Saude 140 31 

^ -deSta. Theresa ] l8() ^ 

2 — da Uniao 50 17 

107 — da Valla 332 300 

73 — das Violas .... 308 289 
44 — do Valongo .... 335 225 

1 Sacco( J Bar/)doAlferes 390 229 
38 Travessa ( Cross Street) 

de Santa Anna . . 95 2 

178 — daAssemblea. . . 11 15 

117 — dos Domingos . . 23 9 
109 — de S. Francisco de 

Paula 46 31 

126 1" — de S. Joaquim 265 78 

127 2 d » — de S. Joaquim 260 45 

No. on Map. Bracas. Houses. 

223 Travessa da Lapa . . 37 23 

222 — da Praia da Lapa 37 23 

13 — do Livramento . . 145 58 

123 — da Moeda 37 1 

178 — do Paco 62 40 

233 — da Pedreira ... 160 41 

141 — do Rocio 130 2 

105 — do Rosario .... 20 13 

121 — de S. Sacramento . 48 1 

215 — de Santa Theresa 32 14 

32,716 15,623 

152 Capella (Chapel) de 
Sto. Antonio dos 

56 — da Conceicao 
210 — do Menino Deos 
116 — dos Domingos 
118 — de Santa Efigenia 

51 — de S. Francisco 
228 — da N. S. da Gloria 
128 — de S. Goncalo Garcia 

86 — Imperial (Se.) 
203 — de Jerusalem 
102 — de bom Jesus 
125 — de S. Jorge 

82 — de N. S. da Lapa dos Neces- 
120 — da Lampadosa 

20 — da Senora do Livramento 
197 — de Santa Luzia 

94 — de N. S. Mai dos Homens 

124 — de N. S. das Passos 
146 — do Mata Porcos 

87 ■ — do Terceiros do Carmo 
7 — da Saude 

201 Convento (Convent) de N. S. da 

164 — de Sao Antonio 
64 — de S. Bento 
220 — do Carmo 



No. on Map. 

109 ConventodeS.Fanciscode Paula 
213 — de Santa Theresa 

40 Freguezia (Parish Church) de 
Santa Anna 

90 — da Candelaria 
175 — de S. Jose 

71 — de S. Rita 
119 — de S. Sacramento 

93 Hospicio (Monks' Retreat) 
164 Hospital (Hospital) de Santo 

220 — do Carmo 
109 — de S. Francisco de Paula 
189 — Militar 
185 — da Misericordia 
170 _ de N. S. do Parto 
115 Igreja (Church) de N. S. da 
Conceicao e boa Morte 

83 — da Cruz 
202 — Ingleza 

74 — de S. Pedro 
104 — do Rosario 

200 — de S. Sebastiao (Se Velha) 
59 Seminario (Seminary) de S. Joa- 

199 — de S. Jose. 
122 Acadamia (Academy) das Bellas 


185 — Medico Cirugica 
112 — Militar 

112 Archivo (Archives) Militar 
78 Alfandega (Custom House) 

186 Arcenal (Arsenal) do Exercito 

75 — da Marinha 

113 Aula (Hall) dos Mutuos 
85 Banco (Bank) Nacional 

No. on Map. 

86 Bibliotheca (Library) Imperial 
21 Cemeterio (Burying Ground) 
dos Inglezes 

195 — da Misericordia 

198 Corral (Butchery) 

174 Correio (Post Office) Geral 

122 Erario (Mint) 

147 Estrada (Road) Catumby 

145 — de Tijuca 

144 — de S. Christovao 
76 Ilha (Island) das Cobras 

157 Intendencia (Office) da Policia 
5 Moinho (Mill) a vapor 

130 Museo (Museum) 
84 Paco (Court) 

56 Palacio (Palace) do Bispado 
174 — do Corpo Legislativo 
155 — da Justicia 
133 — do Senado 
129 — do Senado daCamara 

131 Palacete 

218 Passeio (Walk) Publico 
61 Prizao (Prison) do Aljube 

186 — do Calabouco 

J7l — do Castello 
39 Quartel (Barrracks) do Campo 
da Aclamacao 

203 — dos Barbonios 

64 — de S. Bento 

183 — da Batalha ou da Moura 

65 — das Quarteis 
191 —Velha 

185 Recolhimento (Retreat) 

113 Theatro (Theatre) 

122 Thesouraria (Treasury) 

7 Trapixe (Public Stores) 




Allowance (dotacao) to 

the Emperor .... 200,000$000 
Young Prince and Prin- 
cesses 12,000,000 

Chapel Royal 74,000,000 

Imperial Library . . . . 4,186,000 

Museum 4,512,000 

Medical and Chirurgi- 

cal Academy 6,782,000 

Botanic Garden .... 2,902,000 

Public Walk 1,905,000 

Academy of Fine Arts 6,980,000 

Vaccine Institution . . 1,000,000 


Councillors of State . . 22,000,000 

Chamber of Senators* . 180,000,000 

Chamber of Deputies . 242,000,000 

Public Professors . . . 11,000,000 
Tachygraphs (Report- 
ers), and Secretaries 

of both Chambers . . 27,000,000 

Office for Foreign Af- 
fairs, Minister . . . . 



English 12,000,000 

French 9,600,000 

Russian 12,000,000 

Austrian 12,000,000 

Portuguese 10,000,000 

Spanish 10,000,000 

Netherlands 4,000,000 

Roman 8,000,000 

Prussian 4,000,000 

Danish 6,600,000 

Swedish 6,600,000 

Neapolitan 6,600,000 

Tuscan 6,600,000 

Sardinian 6,600,000 

United States 4,000,000 

Mexican 4,000,000 

South American Repu- 
blics, each 6,000,000 

* By the 39th and 51st articles of the constitutional code, the deputies and senators 
receive a subsidy during the sessions, and also an indemnity for their travelling expenses, 
going and returning, always to be rated at the conclusion of the former sessions. 




to ENGLAND, through the Countries lately the seat of War, with 
Maps and Plates. Third Edition. Post 8vo. Price 12s. 


as illustrating the Progress of Christianity in the Early Ages. Second 
Edition, greatly enlarged. Price 6s. 

ACCOUNT of the LEVANT COMPANY; with some Notices 
of the Benefits conferred upon Society by its Officers, in promoting 
the cause of Humanity, Literature, and the Fine Arts, &c. &c. 
Second Edition. Price 2s. 6d. 


during a Residence of Five Years ; comprising the interesting 
Events connected with the commencement of the Greek Revolution, 
&c. &c. 








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